In North America, the forest-steppe and steppe zones extend in the meridional direction from the taiga in the north to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in the south. Here, west of the Mississippi, under conditions of a continental temperate and subtropical climate, precipitation falls less than in the east. Therefore, grassy vegetation predominates. Steppes in North America are called prairies.
Thanks to a large amount of humus and insufficient moisture in the steppes, the best soils in the world – chernozems were formed. In the plant cover, grasses predominate: feather grass, bison grass, and tonkonog. Their seeds are fed by typical inhabitants of the steppe – rodents: jerboas, hamsters, mice, marmots, prairie dogs. They live in deep and well-branched burrows. They are hunted by birds of prey, meadow coyote wolves, snakes. Once upon a time in the prairies numerous herds of bison lived – large herbivores. These large ungulates, weighing up to 1000 kg, were almost completely exterminated by hunters. Currently protected in the reserves. Since the XIX century. The steppes were almost completely plowed up and used for grain crops. This adversely affected the vegetation in the animal kingdom of the prairies.