When moving deeper into the continent within the temperate zone, the amount of precipitation is gradually reduced. Wooded areas are becoming less and open spaces covered with thick grass are larger. So gradually the forest zone passes into the forest-steppe, and that, in turn, – into the steppe. Forest steppes and steppes occupy the interior parts of the continent. A wide array of them stretch in the south-eastern part of Europe, a thin strip continues beyond the Ural Mountains. And then, breaking through the mountain systems of Asia, they again appear in the flat eastern China. In Ukraine, the forest-steppe and steppe cover most of the territory in the center and in the south of the country.
Precipitation in the steppe falls a little 300-400 mm per year. Winter frost is replaced by summer heat. In summer, droughts and dry winds often occur, dust and black storms occur.
In the conditions of the richness of grasses and moderate moistening, soils in the steppes contain a lot of humus. Here the best soil of chernozem is formed in the world. Chestnut soils appeared in the most arid southern parts of the steppes. They contain less nutrients and have a brown color.
The steppe is the realm of herbs. Typical here are feather grass, fescue, tonkonog, bearded, wormwood. In spring, when the snow melts, the steppe is colored with bright colors of wild tulips, irises, violets. But the summer comes and the sun burns the grass. In the autumn, the wind carries fragments of dry grass for long distances, rolls a rolling field, scattering its seeds through the steppe. Typical inhabitants of the steppe are rodents field mice, voles, ground squirrels, marmots, hamsters, jerboas. A wild rabbit is caught. In the steppes, the heaviest of flying birds, the Bustard, lives. Rodents also hunt predatory birds: the steppe eagle, golden eagle, kestrel. There are dangerous spiders and scorpions.
The steppes, like the forest-steppe, are plowed up. Wheat, sunflower and other valuable crops are grown here. Untouched steppe was preserved only in the reserves.