The Great Plains Of the united states

Climate of the Prairie in the United States

  • Average Rainfall: The average rainfall per month is about 2.5 inches per month. The minimum per month is just under 1 inch, while the max is about 4.3 inches.
  • Average Temperature: The average monthly temperature is about 43.2 degrees Fahrenheit, with the max being about 82 degrees Fahrenheit and the min being about 8 degrees fahrenheit.
  • There are 4 seasons; Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Different sections of the Great Plains are affected by the seasons differently. Some parts tend to be fairly arid, while other parts tend to be very wet. Spring tends to bring lots of precipitation, along with tornadoes and large thunderstorms. There is not a specific wet or dry season, but different regions have different precipitation averages. For the most part, the region is fairly dry, but there are parts, such as the Southeast, that are fairly wet.

Net Primary Productivity

In comparison to other biomes, the Great Plains have a somewhat below average kilocalories/square meter/year at 3,000, with the overall average being around 5,000 kilocalories. This means that the diversity of the region is also on the lower end, but not super low. The prairie can occur between 23.5 degrees North and 66.5 degrees North.

Soil Quality

The soil of the Great Plains is very fertile. It is able to support many types of plants, especially grasses. This allows for a lot of farming, mainly for grains.

Invasive and Endangered

Invasive Wild Hog

Purpose or Accident? These Wild Hogs originally come from Africa and were meant to be farm pigs. It is likely that some escaped their farms and began to breed quickly once in the wild. Their grazing has made many plants closer to extinction and they can be aggressive to other animals and humans.

Endangered Black Footed Ferret

The Black Footed Ferret of the Northern Great Plains of the United States is the only ferret species native to North America. They are endangered due to habitat loss (H in HIPPCO) and the introduction of nonnative diseases (Invasive (nonnative) species in HIPPCO). They are losing their habitat as they depend on the decreasing population of prairie dogs for their homes as they live in prairie dog burrows.

Animals in the Great Plains

Rattlesnake

The rattlesnake has evolved a tail that can rattle, allowing it to scare away intruders. It also has an extremely sensitive sense of smell and can sense faint vibrations caused by its prey. Its teeth prevent prey from escaping as well.

Prairie Dogs

Prairie dogs have adapted to need very little water, allowing them to be hydrated by their plant diet. They also have strong hind legs, allowing them to stand upright and stand guard looking out for dangers. They also dig their burrows to prevent flooding and even have air pockets in the event of water coming in.

Burrowing Owl

This owl has adapted in order to live in burrows that are no longer being used, as well as being able to dig their own, allowing it to have home without having to find a tree, which are not very common for most of the Great Plains. It also hunts during the day, catching insects, as well as at night, catching more mammals.

Plants in the Great Plains

Soapweed Yucca

This plant has adapted the ability to prevent transpiration with a thick waxy skin. They also can store water in their thick roots.

Prickly Pear Cactus

This cactus has adapted the ability to store water for extended periods of time. It also have evolved spikes that protect the plants from being ate by animals.

Buffalo Grass

This grass has adapted to the Great Plains by becoming drought resistant. During dry seasons, it goes brown and stops growing. It is a perennial shortgrass that grows in the warm-season. It is considered a very hardy plant and has adapted the ability to be heat and cold resistant as well.

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