American black bear
The American black bear is a medium-sized bear native to North America. It is the continent's smallest and most distributed bear species. American black bears are omnivores, with their diets varying depending on season and location, they live in forested areas, but do leave forests in search of food. Sometimes they become attracted to human communities because of the immediate availability of food; the American black bear is the world's most common bear species. It is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a least-concern species, due to its widespread distribution and a large population estimated to be twice that of all other bear species combined. Along with the brown bear, it is one of only two of the eight modern bear species not considered by the IUCN to be globally threatened with extinction. American black bears mark trees using their teeth and claws as a form of communication with other bears, a behavior common to many species of bears. Despite living in North America, American black bears are not related to brown bears and polar bears.
American and Asian black bears are considered sister taxa and are more related to each other than to the other modern species of bears. According to recent studies, the sun bear is a recent split from this lineage. A small primitive bear called Ursus abstrusus is the oldest known North American fossil member of the genus Ursus, dated to 4.95 mya. This suggests that U. abstrusus may be the direct ancestor of the American black bear, which evolved in North America. Although Wolverton and Lyman still consider U. vitabilis an "apparent precursor to modern black bears", it has been placed within U. americanus. The ancestors of American black bears and Asian black bears diverged from sun bears 4.58 mya. The American black bear split from the Asian black bear 4.08 mya. The earliest American black bear fossils, which were located in Port Kennedy, Pennsylvania resemble the Asian species, though specimens grew to sizes comparable to grizzly bears. From the Holocene to the present, American black bears seem to have shrunk in size, but this has been disputed because of problems with dating these fossil specimens.
The American black bear lived during the same period as the giant and lesser short-faced bears and the Florida spectacled bear. These tremarctine bears evolved from bears -- 8 ma; the giant and lesser short-faced bears are thought to have been carnivorous and the Florida spectacled bear more herbivorous, while the American black bears remained arboreal omnivores, like their Asian ancestors. The American black bear's generalist behavior allowed it to exploit a wider variety of foods and has been given as a reason why, of these three genera, it alone survived climate and vegetative changes through the last Ice Age while the other, more specialized North American predators became extinct. However, both Arctodus and Tremarctos had survived several previous ice ages. After these prehistoric ursids became extinct during the last glacial period 10,000 years ago, American black bears were the only bear present in much of North America until the migration of brown bears to the rest of the continent.
American black bears are reproductively compatible with several other bear species and have produced hybrid offspring. According to Jack Hanna's Monkeys on the Interstate, a bear captured in Sanford, was thought to have been the offspring of an escaped female Asian black bear and a male American black bear. In 1859, an American black bear and a Eurasian brown bear were bred together in the London Zoological Gardens, but the three cubs that were born died before they reached maturity. In The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, Charles Darwin noted: In the nine-year Report it is stated that the bears had been seen in the zoological gardens to couple but to 1848 most had conceived. In the reports published since this date three species have produced young... An American black bear shot in autumn 1986 in Michigan was thought by some to be an American black bear/grizzly bear hybrid, due to its unusually large size and its proportionately larger braincase and skull. DNA testing was unable to determine whether it was a grizzly bear.
Listed alphabetically. American black bears occupied the majority of North America's forested regions. Today, they are limited to sparsely settled, forested areas. American black bears inhabit much of their original Canadian range, though they occur in the southern farmlands of Alberta and Manitoba; the total Canadian black bear population is between 396,000 and 476,000, based on surveys taken in the mid-1990s in seven Canadian provinces, though this estimate excludes American black bear populations in New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. All provinces indicated stable populations of American black bears over the last decade; the current range of American black bears in the United States is constant throughout most of the northeast and within the Appalachian Mountains continuously from Maine to northern Georgia, the northern Midwest, the Rocky Mountain region, the West Coast and Alaska. However, it becomes fragmented or absent in other regions. Despite this, American black bears in those areas seem to have expanded their range during the last decade, such as with recent sightings in Ohio an
The walleye called the yellow pike, is a freshwater perciform fish native to most of Canada and to the Northern United States. It is a North American close relative of the European zander known as the pikeperch; the walleye is sometimes called the yellow walleye to distinguish it from the blue walleye, a subspecies, once found in the southern Ontario and Quebec regions, but is now presumed extinct. However, recent genetic analysis of a preserved'blue walleye' sample suggests that the blue and yellow walleye were phenotypes within the same species and do not merit separate taxonomic classification. In parts of its range in English-speaking Canada, the walleye is known as a pickerel, though the fish is not related to the true pickerels, which are a member of the family Esocidae. Walleyes show a fair amount of variation across watersheds. In general, fish within a watershed are quite similar and are genetically distinct from those of nearby watersheds; the species has been artificially propagated for over a century and has been planted on top of existing populations or introduced into waters devoid of the species, sometimes reducing the overall genetic distinctiveness of populations.
The common name, "walleye", comes from the fact that the fish's eyes point outward, as if looking at the walls. This externally facing orientation of the eyes gives anglers an advantage in the dark because a certain eyeshine is given off by the eye of the walleye in the dark, similar to that of lions and other nocturnal animals; this "eyeshine" is the result of a light-gathering layer in the eyes called the tapetum lucidum, which allows the fish to see well in low-light conditions. In fact, many anglers look for walleyes at night; the fish's eyes allow them to see well in turbid waters, which gives them an advantage over their prey. Thus, walleye anglers look for locations where a good "walleye chop" occurs; this excellent vision allows the fish to populate the deeper regions in a lake, they can be found in deeper water during the warmest part of the summer and at night. Walleyes are olive and gold in color; the dorsal side of a walleye is olive. The olive/gold pattern is broken up by five darker saddles.
The color shades to white on the belly. The mouth of a walleye is armed with many sharp teeth; the first dorsal and anal fins are spinous. Walleyes are distinguished from their close relative the sauger by the white coloration on the lower lobe of the caudal fin, absent on the sauger. In addition, the two dorsals and the caudal fin of the sauger are marked with distinctive rows of black dots which are absent from or indistinct on the same fins of walleyes. Walleyes grow to about 80 cm in length, weigh up to about 9 kg; the maximum recorded size for the fish is 13 kilograms in weight. The rate depends on where in their range they occur, with southern populations growing faster and larger. In general, females grow larger than males. Walleyes may live for decades. In fished populations, few walleye older than five or six years of age are encountered. In North America, where they are prized, their typical size when caught is on the order of 30 to 50 cm below their potential size; as walleye grow longer, they increase in weight.
The relationship between total length and total weight for nearly all species of fish can be expressed by an equation of the form W = c L b Invariably, b is close to 3.0 for all species, c is a constant that varies among species. For walleye, b = 3.180 and c = 0.000228 or b = 3.180 and c = 0.000005337. This relationship suggests a 50 cm walleye will weigh about 1.5 kg, while a 60 cm walleye will weigh about 2.5 kg. In most of the species' range, male walleyes mature sexually between four years of age. Females mature about a year later. Adults migrate to tributary streams in late winter or early spring to lay eggs over gravel and rock, although open-water reef or shoal-spawning strains are seen, as well; some populations are known to spawn on vegetation. Spawning occurs at water temperatures of 6 to 10 °C. A large female can lay up to 500,000 eggs, no care is given by the parents to the eggs or fry; the eggs are adhesive and fall into spaces between rocks. The incubation period for the embryos is temperature-dependent, but lasts from 12 to 30 days.
After hatching, the free-swimming embryos spend about a week absorbing a small amount of yolk. Once the yolk has been absorbed, the young walleyes begin to feed on invertebrates, such as fly larvæ and zooplankton. After 40 to 60 days, juvenile walleyes become piscivorous. Thenceforth, both juvenile and adult walleyes eat fish exclusively yellow perch or ciscoes, moving onto bars and shoals at night to feed. Walleye feed on crayfish and leeches; the walleye is considered to be a quite palatable freshwater fish, is fished recreationally and commercially for food. Because of its nocturnal feeding habits, it is most caught at night using live minnows or lures that mimic small fish. In Wisconsin, the walleye is fished for in the late afternoon o
Works Progress Administration
The Works Progress Administration was an American New Deal agency, employing millions of people to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. It was established on May 6, 1935, by Executive Order 7034. In a much smaller project, Federal Project Number One, the WPA employed musicians, writers and directors in large arts, drama and literacy projects; the four projects dedicated to these were: the Federal Writers’ Project, the Historical Records Survey, the Federal Theatre Project, the Federal Music Project, the Federal Art Project. In the Historical Records Survey, for instance, many former slaves in the South were interviewed. Theater and music groups toured throughout America, gave more than 225,000 performances. Archaeological investigations under the WPA were influential in the rediscovery of pre-Columbian Native American cultures, the development of professional archaeology in the US; every community in the United States had a new park, bridge, or school, constructed by the agency.
The WPA's initial appropriation in 1935 was for $4.9 billion. Headed by Harry Hopkins, the WPA provided jobs and income to the unemployed during the Great Depression in the United States, while developing infrastructure to support the current and future society. Above all, the WPA hired workers and craftsmen who were employed in building streets. Thus, under the leadership of the WPA, more than 1 million km of streets and over 10,000 bridges were built, in addition to many airports and much housing; the largest single project of the WPA was the Tennessee Valley Authority, which provided the impoverished Tennessee Valley with dams and waterworks to create an infrastructure for electrical power. Camp David, the presidential estate in Maryland used for international meetings, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge were both constructed by the WPA. At its peak in 1938, it provided paid jobs for three million unemployed men and women, as well as youth in a separate division, the National Youth Administration.
Between 1935 and 1943, when the agency was disbanded, the WPA employed 8.5 million people. Most people who needed a job were eligible for employment in some capacity. Hourly wages were set to the prevailing wages in each area. Full employment, reached in 1942 and emerged as a long-term national goal around 1944, was not the goal of the WPA. "Millions of people needed subsistence incomes. Work relief was preferred over public assistance because it maintained self-respect, reinforced the work ethic, kept skills sharp."The WPA was a national program that operated its own projects in cooperation with state and local governments, which provided 10–30% of the costs. The local sponsor provided land and trucks and supplies, with the WPA responsible for wages. WPA sometimes took over state and local relief programs that had originated in the Reconstruction Finance Corporation or Federal Emergency Relief Administration programs, it was liquidated on June 30, 1943, as a result of low unemployment due to the worker shortage of World War II.
The WPA had provided millions of Americans with jobs for eight years. A joint resolution introduced January 21, 1935, the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 was passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 8, 1935. On May 6, 1935, FDR issued executive order 7034; the WPA superseded the work of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, dissolved. Direct relief assistance was permanently replaced by a national work relief program—a major public works program directed by the WPA; the WPA was shaped by Harry Hopkins, supervisor of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and close adviser to Roosevelt. Both Roosevelt and Hopkins believed that the route to economic recovery and the lessened importance of the dole would be in employment programs such as the WPA. Hallie Flanagan, national director of the Federal Theatre Project, wrote that "for the first time in the relief experiments of this country the preservation of the skill of the worker, hence the preservation of his self-respect, became important."The WPA was organized into the following divisions: The Division of Engineering and Construction, which planned and supervised construction projects including airports, dams and sanitation systems.
The Division of Professional and Service Projects, responsible for white-collar projects including education programs, recreation programs, the arts projects. It was named the Division of Community Service Programs and the Service Division; the Division of Finance. The Division of Information; the Division of Investigation, which succeeded a comparable division at FERA and investigated fraud, misappropriation of funds and disloyalty. The Division of Statistics known as the Division of Social Research; the Project Control Division, which processed project applications. Other divisions including the Employment, Safety and Training and Reemployment; these ordinary men and women proved to be extraordinary beyond all expectation. They
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Saint Paul is the capital and second-most populous city of the U. S. state of Minnesota. As of 2017, the city's estimated population was 309,180. Saint Paul is the county seat of Ramsey County, the smallest and most densely populated county in Minnesota; the city lies on the east bank of the Mississippi River in the area surrounding its point of confluence with the Minnesota River, adjoins Minneapolis, the state's largest city. Known as the "Twin Cities", the two form the core of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States, with about 3.6 million residents. Founded near historic Native American settlements as a trading and transportation center, the city rose to prominence when it was named the capital of the Minnesota Territory in 1849; the Dakota name for Saint Paul is "Imnizaska". Though Minneapolis is better-known nationally, Saint Paul contains the state government and other important institutions. Regionally, the city is known for the Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild, for the Science Museum of Minnesota.
As a business hub of the Upper Midwest, it is the headquarters of companies such as Ecolab. Saint Paul, along with its twin city, Minneapolis, is known for its high literacy rate; the settlement began at present-day Lambert's Landing, but was known as Pig's Eye after Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant established a popular tavern there. When Lucien Galtier, the first Catholic pastor of the region, established the Log Chapel of Saint Paul, he made it known that the settlement was now to be called by that name, as "Saint Paul as applied to a town or city was well appropriated, this monosyllable is short, sounds good, it is understood by all Christian denominations". Burial mounds in present-day Indian Mounds Park suggest that the area was inhabited by the Hopewell Native Americans about two thousand years ago. From the early 17th century until 1837, the Mdewakanton Dakota, a tribe of the Sioux, lived near the mounds after fleeing their ancestral home of Mille Lacs Lake from advancing Ojibwe, they called the area I-mni-za ska dan for its exposed white sandstone cliffs.
In the Menominee language it is called Sāēnepān-Menīkān, which means "ribbon, silk or satin village", suggesting its role in trade throughout the region after the introduction of European goods. Following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, US Army officer Zebulon Pike negotiated 100,000 acres of land from the local Dakota tribes in 1805 to establish a fort; the negotiated territory was located on both banks of the Mississippi River, starting from Saint Anthony Falls in present-day Minneapolis, to its confluence with the Saint Croix River. Fort Snelling was built on the territory in 1819 at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, which formed a natural barrier to both Native American nations; the 1837 Treaty with the Sioux ceded all local tribal land east of the Mississippi to the U. S. Government. Taoyateduta moved his band at Kaposia across the river to the south. Fur traders and missionaries came to the area for the fort's protection. Many of the settlers were French-Canadians. However, as a whiskey trade flourished, military officers banned settlers from the fort-controlled lands.
Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant, a retired fur trader-turned-bootlegger who irritated officials, set up his tavern, the Pig's Eye, near present-day Lambert's Landing. By the early 1840s, the community had become important as a trading center and a destination for settlers heading west. Locals called Pig's Eye Landing after Parrant's popular tavern. In 1841, Father Lucien Galtier was sent to minister to the Catholic French Canadians and established a chapel, named for his favorite saint, Paul the Apostle, on the bluffs above Lambert's Landing. Galtier intended for the settlement to adopt the name Saint Paul in honor of the new chapel. In 1847, a New York educator named Harriet Bishop moved to the area and opened the city's first school; the Minnesota Territory was formalized in Saint Paul named as its capital. In 1857, the territorial legislature voted to move the capital to Saint Peter. However, Joe Rolette, a territorial legislator, stole the physical text of the approved bill and went into hiding, thus preventing the move.
On May 11, 1858, Minnesota was admitted to the union as the thirty-second state, with Saint Paul as the capital. That year, more than 1,000 steamboats were in service at Saint Paul, making the city a gateway for settlers to the Minnesota frontier or Dakota Territory. Natural geography was a primary reason; the area was the last accessible point to unload boats coming upriver due to the Mississippi River Valley's stone bluffs. During this period, Saint Paul was called "The Last City of the East." Industrialist James J. Hill constructed and expanded his network of railways into the Great Northern Railway and Northern Pacific Railway, which were headquartered in Saint Paul. Today they are collectively part of the BNSF Railway. On August 20, 1904, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes damaged hundreds of downtown buildings, causing USD $1.78 million in damages to the city and ripping spans from the High Bridge. In the 1960s, during urban renewal, Saint Paul razed western neighborhoods close to downtown.
The city contended with the creation of the interstate freeway system in a built landscape. From 1959 to 1961, the western Rondo Neighborhood was demolished by the construction of Interstate 94, which brought attention to racial segregation and unequal housing in northern cities; the annual
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, it was the longest and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline; the Great Depression started in the United States after a major fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929, became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929. Between 1929 and 1932, worldwide gross domestic product fell by an estimated 15%. By comparison, worldwide GDP fell by less than 1% from 2008 to 2009 during the Great Recession; some economies started to recover by the mid-1930s. However, in many countries the negative effects of the Great Depression lasted until the beginning of World War II; the Great Depression had devastating effects in countries both poor. Personal income, tax revenue and prices dropped, while international trade plunged by more than 50%.
Unemployment in the U. S. rose to 25% and in some countries rose as high as 33%. Cities around the world were hit hard those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was halted in many countries. Farming communities and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by about 60%. Facing plummeting demand with few alternative sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sector industries such as mining and logging suffered the most. Economic historians attribute the start of the Great Depression to the sudden devastating collapse of U. S. stock market prices on October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday. However, some dispute this conclusion and see the stock crash as a symptom, rather than a cause, of the Great Depression. After the Wall Street Crash of 1929 optimism persisted for some time. John D. Rockefeller said "These are days. In the 93 years of my life, depressions have gone. Prosperity has always returned and will again." The stock market turned upward in early 1930. This was still 30% below the peak of September 1929.
Together and business spent more in the first half of 1930 than in the corresponding period of the previous year. On the other hand, many of whom had suffered severe losses in the stock market the previous year, cut back their expenditures by 10%. In addition, beginning in the mid-1930s, a severe drought ravaged the agricultural heartland of the U. S. By mid-1930, interest rates had dropped to low levels, but expected deflation and the continuing reluctance of people to borrow meant that consumer spending and investment were depressed. By May 1930, automobile sales had declined to below the levels of 1928. Prices in general began to decline, although wages held steady in 1930. A deflationary spiral started in 1931. Farmers faced a worse outlook. At its peak, the Great Depression saw nearly 10% of all Great Plains farms change hands despite federal assistance; the decline in the U. S. economy was the factor. Frantic attempts to shore up the economies of individual nations through protectionist policies, such as the 1930 U.
S. Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act and retaliatory tariffs in other countries, exacerbated the collapse in global trade. By 1933, the economic decline had pushed world trade to one-third of its level just four years earlier. Change in economic indicators 1929–32 The two classical competing theories of the Great Depression are the Keynesian and the monetarist explanation. There are various heterodox theories that downplay or reject the explanations of the Keynesians and monetarists; the consensus among demand-driven theories is that a large-scale loss of confidence led to a sudden reduction in consumption and investment spending. Once panic and deflation set in, many people believed they could avoid further losses by keeping clear of the markets. Holding money became profitable as prices dropped lower and a given amount of money bought more goods, exacerbating the drop in demand. Monetarists believe that the Great Depression started as an ordinary recession, but the shrinking of the money supply exacerbated the economic situation, causing a recession to descend into the Great Depression.
Economists and economic historians are evenly split as to whether the traditional monetary explanation that monetary forces were the primary cause of the Great Depression is right, or the traditional Keynesian explanation that a fall in autonomous spending investment, is the primary explanation for the onset of the Great Depression. Today the controversy is of lesser importance since there is mainstream support for the debt deflation theory and the expectations hypothesis that building on the monetary explanation of Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz add non-monetary explanations. There is consensus that the Federal Reserve System should have cut short the process of monetary deflation and banking collapse. If they had done this, the economic downturn would have been much shorter. British economist John Maynard Keynes argued in The General Theory of Employment and Money that lower aggregate expenditures in the economy contributed to a massive decline in income and to employment, well below the average.
In such a situation, the economy reached equilibrium at low levels of economic activity and high unemployment. Keynes' basic idea was simple
An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy is incorporated into plant tissue. By feeding on plants and on one-another, animals play an important role in the movement of matter and energy through the system, they influence the quantity of plant and microbial biomass present. By breaking down dead organic matter, decomposers release carbon back to the atmosphere and facilitate nutrient cycling by converting nutrients stored in dead biomass back to a form that can be used by plants and other microbes. Ecosystems are controlled by internal factors. External factors such as climate, the parent material which forms the soil and topography, control the overall structure of an ecosystem, but are not themselves influenced by the ecosystem. Ecosystems are dynamic entities—they are subject to periodic disturbances and are in the process of recovering from some past disturbance.
Ecosystems in similar environments that are located in different parts of the world can end up doing things differently because they have different pools of species present. Internal factors not only control ecosystem processes but are controlled by them and are subject to feedback loops. Resource inputs are controlled by external processes like climate and parent material. Resource availability within the ecosystem is controlled by internal factors like decomposition, root competition or shading. Although humans operate within ecosystems, their cumulative effects are large enough to influence external factors like climate. Biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning, as do the processes of disturbance and succession. Ecosystems provide a variety of services upon which people depend; the term ecosystem was first used in 1935 in a publication by British ecologist Arthur Tansley. Tansley devised the concept to draw attention to the importance of transfers of materials between organisms and their environment.
He refined the term, describing it as "The whole system... including not only the organism-complex, but the whole complex of physical factors forming what we call the environment". Tansley regarded ecosystems not as natural units, but as "mental isolates". Tansley defined the spatial extent of ecosystems using the term ecotope. G. Evelyn Hutchinson, a limnologist, a contemporary of Tansley's, combined Charles Elton's ideas about trophic ecology with those of Russian geochemist Vladimir Vernadsky; as a result, he suggested. This would, in turn, limit the abundance of animals. Raymond Lindeman took these ideas further to suggest that the flow of energy through a lake was the primary driver of the ecosystem. Hutchinson's students, brothers Howard T. Odum and Eugene P. Odum, further developed a "systems approach" to the study of ecosystems; this allowed them to study the flow of material through ecological systems. Ecosystems are controlled both by internal factors. External factors called state factors, control the overall structure of an ecosystem and the way things work within it, but are not themselves influenced by the ecosystem.
The most important of these is climate. Climate determines the biome. Rainfall patterns and seasonal temperatures influence photosynthesis and thereby determine the amount of water and energy available to the ecosystem. Parent material determines the nature of the soil in an ecosystem, influences the supply of mineral nutrients. Topography controls ecosystem processes by affecting things like microclimate, soil development and the movement of water through a system. For example, ecosystems can be quite different if situated in a small depression on the landscape, versus one present on an adjacent steep hillside. Other external factors that play an important role in ecosystem functioning include time and potential biota; the set of organisms that can be present in an area can significantly affect ecosystems. Ecosystems in similar environments that are located in different parts of the world can end up doing things differently because they have different pools of species present; the introduction of non-native species can cause substantial shifts in ecosystem function.
Unlike external factors, internal factors in ecosystems not only control ecosystem processes but are controlled by them. They are subject to feedback loops. While the resource inputs are controlled by external processes like climate and parent material, the availability of these resources within the ecosystem is controlled by internal factors like decomposition, root competition or shading. Other factors like disturbance, succession or the types of species present are internal factors. Primary production is the production of organic matter from inorganic carbon sources; this occurs through photosynthesis. The energy incorporated through this process supports life on earth, while the carbon makes up much of the organic matter in living and dead biomass, soil carbon and fossil fuels, it drives the carbon cycle, which influences global climate via the greenhouse effect. Through the process of photosynthesis, plants capture energy from light and use it to combine carbon dioxide and water to produce carbohydrates and oxygen.
The photosynthesis carried out by all the plants in an ecosystem is called the gross primary production. About half of the GPP is consumed in plant respiration; the remainder, that portion of GPP, not used up by respirati
Wild rice are four species of grasses forming the genus Zizania, the grain that can be harvested from them. The grain was gathered and eaten in North America and China. While now a delicacy in North America, the grain is eaten less in China, where the plant's stem is used as a vegetable. Wild rice is not directly related to Asian rice, whose wild progenitors are O. rufipogon and O. nivara, although they are close cousins, sharing the tribe Oryzeae. Wild-rice grains have a chewy outer sheath with a tender inner grain that has a vegetal taste; the plants grow in shallow water in slow-flowing streams. The grain is eaten by dabbling other aquatic wildlife, as well as by humans. Three species of wild rice are native to North America: Northern wild rice is an annual plant native to the Great Lakes region of North America, the aquatic areas of the Boreal Forest regions of Northern Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba in Canada and Minnesota, Wisconsin and Idaho in the US. Wild rice an annual, grows in the Saint Lawrence River, the state of Florida, on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States.
Texas wild rice is a perennial plant found only in a small area along the San Marcos River in central Texas. One species is native to Asia: Manchurian wild rice, is a perennial native to China. Texas wild rice is in danger of extinction due to loss of suitable habitat in its limited range and to pollution; the pollen of Texas wild rice can only travel about 30 inches away from a parent plant. If pollen does not land on a receptive female flower within that distance, no seeds are produced. Manchurian wild rice has disappeared from the wild in its native range, but has been accidentally introduced into the wild in New Zealand and is considered an invasive species there; the species most harvested as grain are the annual species: Zizania palustris and Zizania aquatica. The former, though now domesticated and grown commercially, is still gathered from lakes in the traditional manner by indigenous peoples in North America. Native Americans and others harvest wild rice by canoeing into a stand of plants, bending the ripe grain heads with two small wooden poles/sticks called "knockers" or "flails", so as to thresh the seeds into the canoe.
One person vans rice into the canoe while the other paddles or uses a push pole. The plants are not beaten with the knockers, but require only a gentle brushing to dislodge the mature grain; some seeds fall to the muddy bottom and germinate in the year. The size of the knockers, as well as other details, are prescribed in tribal law. By Minnesota statute, knockers must be at most 1 in diameter, 30 in long, 1 lb weight. Several Native American cultures, such as the Ojibwa, consider wild rice to be a sacred component in their culture; the Ojibwa people call this plant manoomin, meaning "harvesting berry". Tribes that are recorded as harvesting Zizania aquatica are the Dakota, Meskwaki, Omaha, Ponca and Winnebago. Native people who utilized Zizania palustris are the Ottawa/Odawa and Potawatomi. Ways of preparing it varied from stewing the grains with deer broth and/or maple syrup, made into stuffings for wild birds, or steaming it into sweets like puffed rice, or rice pudding sweetened with maple syrup.
For these groups, the harvest of wild rice is an important cultural event. The Menominee tribe were named Omanoominii by the neighboring Ojibwa after this plant. Many places in Illinois, Manitoba, Minnesota, Ontario and Wisconsin are named after this plant, including Mahnomen, Menomonie, Wisconsin; because of its nutritional value and taste, wild rice increased in popularity in the late 20th century, commercial cultivation began in the U. S. and Canada to supply the increased demand. In 1950, James and Gerald Godward started experimenting with wild rice in a one-acre meadow north of Brainerd, Minnesota, they constructed dikes around the acre, dug ditches for drainage, put in water controls. In the fall, they tilled the soil. In the spring of 1951, they acquired 50 lb of seed from Wildlife Nurseries Inc, they scattered the seed onto the soil, diked it in, flooded the paddy. Much to their surprise, since they were told wild rice needs flowing water to grow well, the seeds sprouted and produced a crop.
They continued to experiment with wild rice throughout the early 1950s and were the first to cultivate the wild crop. In the United States, the main producers are California and Minnesota, it is cultivated in paddy fields. In Canada, it is harvested from natural bodies of water. Wild rice is produced in Hungary and Australia. In Hungary, cultivation started in 1974 on the rice field of Szarvas. Manchurian wild rice, gathered from the wild, was once an important grain in ancient China, it is now rare in the wild, its use as a grain has disappeared in China, though it continues to be cultivated for its stems. The swollen crisp white stems of Manchurian wild rice are grown as a vegetable, popular in East and Southeast Asia; the swelling occurs because of infection