By Norman J. Rosenberg
The North American nice Plains is a tremendous worldwide breadbasket yet its agriculture is under pressure through drought, warmth, destructive winds, soil erosion and declining flooring water assets. Biomass construction and processing at the Plains may partly restoration a perennial vegetative conceal and create employment possibilities. This publication explores the chance that the ecology and economic climate of the Plains quarter, and comparable areas, would get advantages from the advent of perennial biomass crops.
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Additional resources for A Biomass Future for the North American Great Plains: Toward Sustainable Land Use and Mitigation of Greenhouse Warming (Advances in Global Change Research)
Much of the Plains region is remote from the major body of water that influences it most—the Gulf of Mexico. The fact of its remoteness is the reason that the climate is described as continental. Continentality dictates that the diurnal range of temperature (night to day) and the annual range of temperature (winter to summer) will be great. The Great Plains (particularly the northern portion) has the most distinctly continental climate in North America. Continentality leads to interesting comparisons of the Plains climate with that of other regions of the country.
Winters in the northern Great Plains are the coldest in the conterminous 48 states. The southern Great Plains are as hot as the southeastern part of the USA in summer. The northern Great Plains are hotter than the northeastern part of the country. 4°C (121°F). 2°C (171°F). In many parts of the northern Great Plains an annual temperature range of 60°C (140°F) is common. 14 Chapter 2 The Plains region is dominated by the passage of air conditioned over widely different surfaces in regions remote from one another.
Entisols predominate in the Nebraska Sandhills. This mixedgrass steppe transitions from tall grasses prairie parkland at the eastern edge to shortgrass steppe at about the 104th meridian. 25 m; the short grasses such as blue grama, hairy grama and buffalo grass to half a meter. Trees are rare except for cottonwood along the watercourses. A number of forbs grow in this ecoregion from Canada to Oklahoma: match weed or broomweed, scurf-pea, sunflower, goldenrod, and ragweed. The description of the Great Plains ecoprovinces given above, describes the vegetation of uncultivated lands of the region as they were originally.