The Full Wiki

Steppe: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

A steppe in physical geography refers to a biome region characterised by grassland plain without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes. The prairie (especially the shortgrass prairie) can be considered a steppe. It may be semi-desert, or covered with grass or shrubs or both, depending on the season and latitude. The term is also used to denote the climate encountered in regions too dry to support a forest, but not dry enough to be a desert.

Steppe are characterized by a continental and semi-arid climate. Peaks can be recorded in the summer of up to 40 °C (104 °F) and in winter -40 °C (-40 °F).Besides this huge difference between summer and winter, the differences between day and night are also very great.In the highlands of Mongolia, 30 °C (86 °F) can be reached during the day with sub-zero °C (sub 32 °F) readings at night.

Also, the mid-latitude steppes can be summarized by hot summers and cold winters, averaging 250–500 mm (10-20 inches) of rain or equivalent in snowfall per year.


Pronounced , from , "a flat and arid land"; ; ; and .

Two types of steppe

Southern Siberian steppe: windbreaker trees in the wintertime.
Two types of steppe can be recorded:
  • the temperate steppe, the "true" steppe, found in continental areas of the world; it can be further subdivided; as seen here.
  • the subtropical steppe, a similar association of plants that can be found in the driest areas with a Mediterranean-like climate; it has usually a short wet period.

Peculiar types of steppe include Shrub-steppe and Alpine-steppe.


Cold steppe

The world's largest zone of all steppes, often referred to as "the Great Steppe", is found in southwest Russiamarker and neighbouring countries in Central Asia, stretching from Ukrainemarker in the west through Turkmenistanmarker, Uzbekistanmarker and Kazakhstanmarker to the Altaimarker, Koppet Dagmarker and Tian Shanmarker ranges. The vast Eurasian Steppe, as it is called, is bordered in the north (on the eastern side of the Uralsmarker) by the forested West Siberian Plain taiga, extending nearly as far as the Arctic Oceanmarker.

Central Anatoliamarker in Turkeymarker is a cold steppe.

The Pannonian Plain conforms another steppe climate in South Eastern Europe.

Another large steppe area (prairie) is located in the central United Statesmarker and western Canadamarker. The High Plains steppe is the westernmost part of the Great Plainsmarker region, and the Channeled Scablandsmarker in Southern British Columbiamarker and Washington Statemarker.

Patagonia is another land dominated by a steppe. Relatively small steppes can be found in the inner part of the South Islandmarker of New Zealandmarker, and in Hungarymarker (the Puszta).

Subtropical steppe

In Europe, some Mediterranean areas have a steppe-like vegetation, such as central Sicily and central-eastern Spainmarker, especially the southeastern coast (around Murciamarker), and places cut off from adequate moisture due to rain shadow effects such as Zaragozamarker.

In Asia, a subtropical steppe can be found in semi-arid lands that fringe the Thar Desert of the Indianmarker subcontinent; in Australia it can be found in a belt surrounding the most severe deserts of the continent and around the Musgrave Rangesmarker.

In North America this environment is typical of transition areas between zones with a Mediterranean climate and true deserts, such as Reno, Nevadamarker, and the inner part of Californiamarker. In South America the most important zone with a warm steppe is the Pampamarker.

Tropical grasslands and shrublands similar to steppe

Other zones dominated by grasslands and shrublands similar to steppe can be found in tropical areas of the world. In these locations, necessary rainfall to separate steppes from true deserts may be half as much again due to greater evapotranspiration. These include transition zones between savanna and severe desert such as the Sahel that fringes the true Sahara.

Another significant "tropical steppe", noteworthy for not grading into desert, is the Sertão of northeastern Brazil.

See also


  1. Ecological Subregions of the United States


  • Ecology and Conservation of Steppe-land Birdsby Manuel B.Morales, Santi Mañosa, Jordi Camprodón, Gerard Bota. International Symposium on Ecology and Conservation of steppe-land birds. Lleida, Spain. December 2004.ISBN 84-87334-99-7

External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address