The shortgrass prairie ecosystem of the North American Great Plains is a prairie that includes lands from the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains east to Nebraska and north into Saskatchewan, including rangelands in Alberta, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Kansas, and extending to the south through the high plains of Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico.
These rangelands were formerly maintained by grazing pressure of American bison, the keystone species; the dominant grasses are blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) and buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides). Less dominant grasses in the area are greasegrass (Tridens flavus) and sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula). The semiarid climate receives on average less precipitation than that which supports the tallgrass prairie formerly to the east.
- Hill, R.T. 1901. Geography and Geology of the Black and Grand Prairies, Texas. In: Walcott, C.D. (ed), Twenty-First Annual Report of the United States Geological Survey to the Secretary of the Interior (1899-1900), Part VII - Texas, 666 pp. (See Plate III)
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