Grassland - Prairie North America

Climate of the Prairie in North America

  • Average Rainfall - 21.7 in, Max - 5 inches in May, Min - 1 inch in December
  • Average Temperature - 66.7 F, Max - 76.7 F, Min - 56.7 F
  • General Explanation - 2 season: Growing season and Dormant season

Net Primary Productivity

The net primary productivity is average compared to other ecosystem types. Latitude - 29°N to 49°N Longitude - 87°W to 111°W. The temperate grassland biome is very diverse as it has many different plant and animal species.

Soil Quality

Prairie soils are rich in nutrients and are good for plants. Grasses are the dominant vegetation and many farmers use it as grazing fields.

Invasive Species

Chinese tallow tree - Originally from China, they grow on elevated and undisturbed ground. Very resilient to herbicides. They were brought to the US to help with the soap industry.

Wild Hogs - introduced from Africa to be farmed but were released them into the wild and eventuality they started to breed and grow in numbers. They graze the grasslands and are devouring the grass and other plants bringing them closer to extinction.

Endangered Species

Small white lady's slipper orchid - Endangered because of habitat destruction. Used to be very common on the prairies of southern and western Minnesota but has declined due to land being used for farming (H in HIPPCO).

Black-Footed Ferret - Only ferret native to North America. Found from northern Mexico to southern Canada. Almost brought to extinction due to Habitat destruction (H in HIPPCO) and disease.

Animals in the Prairie

American Bison - The symbolic animal of the Great Plains and the national mammal of the US. They graze on the abundance of grass in the Great Plains. Bison also have thick coats for the winter.

Grey Wolf - They are endangered but have been reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park. They help control herbivore populations which helps the whole entire ecosystem.

Prairie Dog - Live in underground burrows to protect themselves from predators. They also have complex communication systems to warn each other about threats.

Plants in the Prairie

Buffalo Grass - Very drought resistant. Important food source for livestock, deer, buffalo, and prairie dogs. The seeds have burrs that stick to animals and fall off relatively close to the parent plant.

Blue Grama Grass - Has dense, shallow roots which hold the soil together. It can stand drought, heat, and cold.

Butterfly Milkweed - The seeds have long silky hair which allows the wind to scatter the seeds. It attracts butterflies which pollinate it and other plants.


Created with images by USFWS Mountain Prairie - "Black-footed Ferret Kits" • kasabubu - "yellowstone national park wyoming usa" • skeeze - "wolf wildlife nature" • Matthijs Koster - "Prairie dog"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.