The Steppe of Eurasia

Climate of the Steppe in Eurasia

  • Average Monthly Rainfall : 28.9 mm
  • Maximum Monthly Rainfall : 93 mm
  • Minimum Monthly Rainfall : 2 mm
  • Average Annual Temperature : 26.8 F
  • Maximum Monthly Temperature : 66.2 F
  • Minimum Monthly Temperature : -16.6 F

The Steppe has four seasons:

Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn

All of these are relatively dry, however the amount of precipitation in the summer months is slightly more than in other seasons

Net Primary Productivity

The Steppe is found between the latitudes 23.5° north and 66.5° north

NPP is approximately 2000 kcal/sqm annually

The grassland biome accounts for 21% of the Earth's surface (3rd largest biome)

This biome has significantly less rainfall than all non-desert biomes

Soil Quality

The Steppe has fertile soil that supports a diverse amount of grasses and grain crops

Invasive and Endangered

Invasive

Coypu rats (Nutria)

Native to South America, it has been introduced to North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, primarily by fur harvesters. However, populations have exploded and the species's feeding habits damage river plant biodiversity which harms native species which rely on the river plants for food

Endangered

Bobak Marmot

This species is endangered primarily due to habitat destruction (H in HIPPCO). The Bobak Marmot used to inhabit the entire Steppe, but due to the Steppe's cultivation, this species now only survives in small colonies in eastern Ukraine.

Animals in the Steppe

Cinereous Vulture

The largest true bird of prey, the Cinereous Vulture, has a specialized blood chemical that allows for it to take in sufficient oxygen at extreme heights. This allows it to see prey from a great distance over the relatively flat biome.

Siberian Ibex

This species possesses many adaptations. Variations in coloration camouflages the Siberian Ibex in its environment. Its hooves are also specialized for climbing rocky surfaces and remaining balanced. The horns are used to attract mates.

Saiga Antelope

The Saiga Antelope's large nasal cavity allows for frigid air to be warmed as it is inhaled. This is useful in winter when it must eat sparse vegetation that is covered in snow.

Plants of the Steppe

Russian Thistle (Tumbleweed)

When the plant is mature enough to reproduce, rather than relying on wind, animals, etc to scatter seeds, it breaks off at the base and as the wind causes it to tumble, the seeds fall off the plant.

Milk Vetch

This plant has a very long root system that allows it to draw water from depths most plants cannot reach. Milk Vetch is also a perennial plant. This means the portion above the ground dies off during winter so that it requires fewer nutrients. In the spring the root system gives way to a new flowering plant.

Fringed Sagebush

This plant has a highly adaptable root system. If the water level is low, it will grow deep taproots and if the level is high, it grows lots of surface roots. This allows for the plant to survive droughts that commonly occur in the Steppe.

Created By
Robert Williamson
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