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Short  Grass  Prairie
 

Short Grass Prairie

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    Short  Grass  Prairie Short Grass Prairie Presentation Transcript

    • Grasses: The short version By: Rosha Lewis, Mark King, Morgan Thornton, Aaron Patterson [email_address]
    • Short Grasses (Location)
      • East of the Rocky Mountains
        • From the east coast, the grass begin to decline in height.
      • The environment begins to get so dry that, the soil holds little water. As the soil weakens, it retains little water.
      • The geographical area usually is dry prairies which are found in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.
    • Yellow = Short-Grass prairies
    • Climatic Conditions
      • The average precipitation amounts to12.6 inches in short grass prairies.
        • 10 to 12 inches of rainfall a year.
        • The amount of rainfall determines the height of the grasses.
      • North American prairies during the summer:
        • Reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit
      • Short grass prairies have hotter summers and colder winters compared to tall grass prairies.
        • Winters: can be as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
      • Two real seasons:
        • Growing season – no frost; plants can grow. (100-175 days)
        • Dormant season – nothing can grow, too cold.
    • Short Grass Soil
      • Soils are lighter brown than compared to mixed prairies and tall-grass ones.
        • Light brown soils tell us that the nitrogen and humus content are low.
          • Humus – partly decomposed organic matter
        • Plants use more shallow root systems
          • Less rainfall
      • The calcium carbonate layer is closer to the surface as well.
      • Drier and weaker soils in the short-grass prairies.
    • Plants
      • Indian Grass
        • A perennial bunchgrass
        • A warm season grass
        • Ideal for grazing animals
      • Buffalo Grass
        • A hardy grass
        • Common in North American prairies
        • Drought resistant
        • Tolerant to the heat and cold seasons
      • Big Bluestem Grass (Turkey Foot)
        • Adapted to growing in dense stands
        • Allows for less competition of sunlight
      • Generally, the key to survival are thick deep roots
        • Anchor into the soil to prevent being blown away in the wind
    • Animals
      • The Prairie dogs
        • Essentially are the squirrel of the prairies
          • Normally, squirrels inhabit trees, but in the prairies there aren’t any trees. Therefore they burrow underground.
        • Adapted to creating guard systems
          • Some stay outside the burrow to watch for predators while others mate and connect burrows
      • Adapted to a semi-arid, windy environment with few trees or shrubs.
        • Many of the animals are thankful for the rodent populations and steal their burrows to survive the freezing to the sweltering hot temperatures.
        • They can also withstand a great range in temperature from well below freezing in the winter to sweltering heat in the summer.
    •  
    • Biome in DANGER!
      • Human Encroachment
        • The large fields of the grasslands are becoming idea for farming and airways which eventually introduce industry, commercial, and recreational development.
        • Fires that get carried away by the wind can trap or enclose some herds and killing them.