The Great Plains is the broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie and grassland, that lies west of the Mississippi River tallgrass prairie in the United States and east of the Rocky Mountains in the U. S. and Canada. It embraces: The entirety of the U. S. states of Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota Parts of the states of Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming The southern portions of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and SaskatchewanThe region is known for supporting extensive cattle ranching and dry farming. The Canadian portion of the Plains is known as the Prairies, it covers much of Alberta and southern Saskatchewan, a narrow band of southern Manitoba. Despite covering a small geographic area, the Prairies are home to the majority of each of the three provinces' respective populations; the term "Great Plains" is used in the United States to describe a sub-section of the more vast Interior Plains physiographic division, which covers much of the interior of North America.
It has currency as a region of human geography, referring to the Plains Indians or the Plains States. In Canada the term is little used. There is no region referred to as the "Great Plains" in The Atlas of Canada. In terms of human geography, the term prairie is more used in Canada, the region is known as the Prairie Provinces or "the Prairies." The North American Environmental Atlas, produced by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, a NAFTA agency composed of the geographical agencies of the Mexican and Canadian governments, uses the "Great Plains" as an ecoregion synonymous with predominant prairies and grasslands rather than as physiographic region defined by topography. The Great Plains ecoregion includes five sub-regions: Temperate Prairies, West-Central Semi-Arid Prairies, South-Central Semi-Arid Prairies, Texas Louisiana Coastal Plains, Tamaulipas-Texas Semi-Arid Plain, which overlap or expand upon other Great Plains designations; the region is about 500 mi east to 2,000 mi north to south.
Much of the region was home to American bison herds until they were hunted to near extinction during the mid/late-19th century. It has an area of 500,000 sq mi. Current thinking regarding the geographic boundaries of the Great Plains is shown by this map at the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln; the term "Great Plains", for the region west of about the 96th and east of the Rocky Mountains, was not used before the early 20th century. Nevin Fenneman's 1916 study Physiographic Subdivision of the United States brought the term Great Plains into more widespread usage. Before that the region was invariably called the High Plains, in contrast to the lower Prairie Plains of the Midwestern states. Today the term "High Plains" is used for a subregion of the Great Plains; the Great Plains are the westernmost portion of the vast North American Interior Plains, which extend east to the Appalachian Plateau. The United States Geological Survey divides the Great Plains in the United States into ten physiographic subdivisions: Coteau du Missouri or Missouri Plateau, glaciated – east central South Dakota and eastern North Dakota and northeastern Montana.
The Great Plains consist of a broad stretch of country underlain by nearly horizontal strata extends westward from the 97th meridian west to the base of the Rocky Mountains, a distance of from 300 to 500 miles. It extends northward from the Mexican boundary far into Canada. Although the altitude of the plains increases from 600 or 1,200 ft on the east to 4,000–5,000 or 6,000 feet near the mountains, the local relief is small; the semi-arid climate opens far-reaching views. The plains are by no means a simple unit, they are of various stages of erosional development. They are interrupted by buttes and escarpments, they are broken by valleys. Yet on the whole, a broadly extended surface of moderate relief so prevails that the name, Great Plains, for the region as a whole is well-deserved; the western boundary of the plains is well-defined by the abrupt ascent of the mountains. The eastern boundary of the plains is more climatic than topographic; the line of 20 in. of annual rainfall trends a little east of northward near the 97th meridian.
If a boundary must be drawn where nature presents only a gradual transition, this rainfall line may be taken to divide the drier plains from the moister prairies. The plains may be described in northern, intermediate and southern sections, in relation to certain peculiar features; the northern section of the Great Plains, north of latitude 44°, including eastern Montana, north-eastern Wyomi
Prairie dogs are herbivorous burrowing rodents native to the grasslands of North America. The five species are: black-tailed, white-tailed, Gunnison's, Mexican prairie dogs, they are a type of ground squirrel, found in Canadian Prairies and Mexico. In Mexico, prairie dogs are found in the northern states, which lie at the southern end of the Great Plains: northeastern Sonora and northeastern Chihuahua, northern Coahuila, northern Nuevo León, northern Tamaulipas. In the United States, they range to the west of the Mississippi River, though they have been introduced in a few eastern locales. Despite the name, they are not canines. Prairie dogs are named for their warning call, which sounds similar to a dog's bark; the name was in use at least as early as 1774. The 1804 journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition note that in September 1804, they "discovered a Village of an animal the French Call the Prairie Dog", its genus, derives from the Greek for "dog mouse". The black-tailed prairie dog was first described by Lewis and Clark in 1804.
Lewis described it in more detail in 1806, calling it the "barking squirrel". Order Rodentia Suborder Sciuromorpha Family Sciuridae Subfamily Xerinae Genus Cynomys Gunnison's prairie dog, Cynomys gunnisoni White-tailed prairie dog, Cynomys leucurus Black-tailed prairie dog, Cynomys ludovicianus Mexican prairie dog, Cynomys mexicanus Utah prairie dog, Cynomys parvidens About 14 other genera in subfamily On average, these stout-bodied rodents will grow to be between 30 and 40 cm long, including the short tail, weigh between 0.5 and 1.5 kilograms. Sexual dimorphism in body mass in the prairie dog varies 105 to 136% between the sexes. Among the species, black-tailed prairie dogs tend to be the least sexually dimorphic, white-tailed prairie dogs tend to be the most sexually dimorphic. Sexual dimorphism peaks during weaning, when the females lose weight and the males start eating more, is at its lowest when the females are pregnant, when the males are tired from breeding. Prairie dogs are chiefly herbivorous.
They feed on grasses and small seeds. In the fall, they eat broadleaf forbs. In the winter and pregnant females supplement their diets with snow for extra water, they will eat roots, seeds and buds. Grasses of various species are eaten. Black-tailed prairie dogs in South Dakota eat western bluegrass, blue grama, buffalo grass, six weeks fescue, tumblegrass, while Gunnison’s prairie dogs eat rabbit brush, dandelions and cacti in addition to buffalo grass and blue grama. White-tailed prairie dogs have been observed to kill a competing herbivore. Prairie dogs live at altitudes ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 ft above sea level; the areas where they live can get as warm as 38 °C in the summer and as cold as −37 °C in the winter. As prairie dogs live in areas prone to environmental threats, including hailstorms and floods, as well as drought and prairie fires, burrows provide important protection. Burrows help prairie dogs control their body temperature as they are 5–10 °C during the winter and 15–25 °C in the summer.
Prairie dog tunnel systems channel rainwater into the water table which prevents runoff and erosion, can change the composition of the soil in a region by reversing soil compaction that can result from cattle grazing. Prairie dog burrows are 5–10 m long and 2–3 m below the ground; the entrance holes are 10–30 cm in diameter. Prairie dog burrows can have up to six entrances. Sometimes the entrances are flat holes in the ground, while at other times they are surrounded by mounds of soil either left as piles or hard packed; some mounds, known as dome craters, can be as high as 20–30 cm high. Other mounds, known as rim craters, can be as high as 1 m. Dome craters and rim craters serve as observation posts used by the animals to watch for predators, they protect the burrows from flooding. The holes possibly provide ventilation as the air enters through the dome crater and leaves through the rim crater, causing a breeze though the burrow. Prairie dog burrows contain chambers to provide certain functions.
They have nursery chambers for their young, chambers for night, chambers for the winter. They contain air chambers that may function to protect the burrow from flooding and a listening post for predators; when hiding from predators, prairie dogs use less-deep chambers that are a meter below the surface. Nursery chambers tend to be deeper, being two to three meters below the surface.. Social, prairie dogs live in large colonies or "towns" and collections of prairie dog families that can span hundreds of acres; the prairie dog family groups are the most basic units of its society. Members of a family group inhabit the same territory. Family groups of black-tailed and Mexican prairie dogs are called "coteries", while "clans" are used to describe family groups of white-tailed, Gunnison’s, Utah prairie dogs. Although these two family groups are similar, coteries tend to be more knit than clans. Members of a family group grooming one another, they do not perform these behaviors with prairie dogs from other family groups.
A prairie dog town may contain 15–26 family groups. There may be subgroups within a town, called "wards", which are separated by a physical barrier. Family groups exist within these wards. Most prairie dog family gr
Anthropogenic hazards are hazards caused by human action or inaction. They are contrasted with natural hazards. Anthropogenic hazards may adversely affect humans, other organisms and ecosystems; the frequency and severity of hazards are key elements in some risk analysis methodologies. Hazards may be described in relation to the impact that they have. A hazard only exists; as an example, the center of the earth consists of molten material at high temperatures which would be a severe hazard if contact was made with the core. However, there is no feasible way of making contact with the core, therefore the center of the earth poses no hazard. There are certain societal hazards that can occur by inadvertently overlooking a hazard, a failure to notice or by purposeful intent by human inaction or neglect, consequences as a result of little or no preemptive actions to prevent a hazard from occurring. Although not everything is within the scope of human control, there is anti-social behaviour and crimes committed by individuals or groups that can be prevented by reasonable apprehension of injury or death.
People report dangerous circumstances, suspicious behaviour or criminal intentions to the police and for the authorities to investigate or intervene. Behavior which puts others at risk of injury or death is universally regarded as criminal and is a breach of the law for which the appropriate legal authority may impose some form of penalty, such as imprisonment, a fine, or execution. Understanding what makes individuals act in a way that puts others at risk has been the subject of much research in many developed countries. Mitigating the hazard of criminality is dependent on time and place with some areas and times of day posing a greater risk than others. Civil disorder is a broad term, used by law enforcement to describe forms of disturbance when many people are involved and are set upon a common aim. Civil disorder has many causes, including large-scale criminal conspiracy, socio-economic factors, hostility between racial and ethnic groups and outrage over perceived moral and legal transgressions.
Examples of well-known civil disorders and riots are the Poll Tax Riots in the United Kingdom in 1990. Such behavior is only hazardous for those directly involved as participants or those controlling the disturbance or those indirectly involved as passers-by or shopkeepers for example. For the great majority, staying out of the way of the disturbance eliminates the hazard; the common definition of terrorism is the use or threatened use of violence for the purpose of creating fear in order to achieve a political, religious, or ideological goal. Targets of terrorist acts can be anyone, including private citizens, government officials, military personnel, law enforcement officers, firefighters, or people serving in the interests of governments. Definitions of terrorism may vary geographically. In Australia, the Security Legislation Amendment Act 2002, defines terrorism as "an action to advance a political, religious or ideological cause and with the intention of coercing the government or intimidating the public", while the United States Department of State operationally describes it as "premeditated, politically-motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub national groups or clandestine agents intended to influence an audience".
War is a conflict between large groups of people, which involves physical force inflicted by the use of weapons. Warfare has destroyed entire cultures, countries and inflicted great suffering on humanity. Other terms for war can include armed conflict and police action. Acts of war are excluded from insurance contracts and sometimes from disaster planning. Industrial accidents resulting in releases of hazardous materials occur in a commercial context, such as mining accidents, they have an environmental impact but can be hazardous for people living in proximity. The Bhopal disaster saw the release of methyl isocyanate into the neighbouring environment affecting large numbers of people, it is the world's worst industrial accident to date. Engineering hazards occur when structures used by people fail or the materials used in their construction prove to be hazardous; this history of construction has many examples of hazards associated with structures including bridge failures such as the Tay Bridge disaster caused by under-design, the Silver Bridge collapse caused by corrosion attack or the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge caused by aerodynamic flutter of the deck.
Failure of dams was not infrequent during the Victorian era, such as the Dale Dyke dam failure in Sheffield, England in 1864, causing the Great Sheffield Flood, which killed at least 240 people. In 1889, the failure of the South Fork Dam on the Little Conemaugh River near Johnstown, produced the Johnstown Flood, which killed over 2,200. Other failures include balcony collapses, aerial walkway collapses such as the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse in Kansas City in 1981, building collapses such as that of the World Trade Center in New York City in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. In managing waste many hazardous materials are put in the commercial waste stream. In part this is because modern technological living uses certain toxic or poisonous materials in the electronics and chemical industries. Which, when they are in use or transported, are safely contained or encapsulated and packaged to avoid any exposure. In the waste stream, t
A farm is an area of land, devoted to agricultural processes with the primary objective of producing food and other crops. The name is used for specialised units such as arable farms, vegetable farms, fruit farms, dairy and poultry farms, land used for the production of natural fibres and other commodities, it includes ranches, orchards and estates, smallholdings and hobby farms, includes the farmhouse and agricultural buildings as well as the land. In modern times the term has been extended so as to include such industrial operations as wind farms and fish farms, both of which can operate on land or sea. Farming originated independently in different parts of the world, as hunter gatherer societies transitioned to food production rather than, food capture, it may have started about 12,000 years ago with the domestication of livestock in the Fertile Crescent in western Asia, soon to be followed by the cultivation of crops. Modern units tend to specialise in the crops or livestock best suited to the region, with their finished products being sold for the retail market or for further processing, with farm products being traded around the world.
Modern farms in developed countries are mechanized. In the United States, livestock may be raised on rangeland and finished in feedlots and the mechanization of crop production has brought about a great decrease in the number of agricultural workers needed. In Europe, traditional family farms are giving way to larger production units. In Australia, some farms are large because the land is unable to support a high stocking density of livestock because of climatic conditions. In less developed countries, small farms are the norm, the majority of rural residents are subsistence farmers, feeding their families and selling any surplus products in the local market; the word in the sense of an agricultural land-holding derives from the verb "to farm" a revenue source, whether taxes, rents of a group of manors or to hold an individual manor by the feudal land tenure of "fee farm". The word is from the medieval Latin noun firma the source of the French word ferme, meaning a fixed agreement, from the classical Latin adjective firmus meaning strong, firm.
As in the medieval age all manors were engaged in the business of agriculture, their principal revenue source, so to hold a manor by the tenure of "fee farm" became synonymous with the practice of agriculture itself. Farming has been innovated at multiple different places in human history; the transition from hunter-gatherer to settled, agricultural societies is called the Neolithic Revolution and first began around 12,000 years ago, near the beginning of the geological epoch of the Holocene around 12,000 years ago. It was the world's first verifiable revolution in agriculture. Subsequent step-changes in human farming practices were provoked by the British Agricultural Revolution in the 18th century, the Green Revolution of the second half of the 20th century. Farming spread from the Middle East to Europe and by 4,000 BC people that lived in the central part of Europe were using oxen to pull plows and wagons. A farm may be owned and operated by a single individual, community, corporation or a company, may produce one or many types of produce, can be a holding of any size from a fraction of a hectare to several thousand hectares.
A farm may operate under a monoculture system or with a variety of cereal or arable crops, which may be separate from or combined with raising livestock. Specialist farms are denoted as such, thus a dairy farm, fish farm, poultry farm or mink farm; some farms may not use the word at all, hence vineyard, market garden or "truck farm". Some farms may be denoted by their topographical location, such as a hill farm, while large estates growing cash crops such as cotton or coffee may be called plantations. Many other terms are used to describe farms to denote their methods of production, as in collective, intensive, organic or vertical. Other farms may exist for research or education, such as an ant farm, since farming is synonymous with mass production, the word "farm" may be used to describe wind power generation or puppy farm. Dairy farming is a class of agriculture, where female cattle, goats, or other mammals are raised for their milk, which may be either processed on-site or transported to a dairy for processing and eventual retail sale There are many breeds of cattle that can be milked some of the best producing ones include Holstein, Norwegian Red, Brown Swiss, more.
In most Western countries, a centralized dairy facility processes milk and dairy products, such as cream and cheese. In the United States, these dairies are local companies, while in the southern hemisphere facilities may be run by large nationwide or trans-national corporations. Dairy farms sell male calves for veal meat, as dairy breeds are not satisfactory for commercial beef production. Many dairy farms grow their own feed including corn and hay; this is stored as silage for use during the winter season. Additional dietary supplements are added to the feed to improve milk production. Poultry farms are devoted to raising chickens, turkeys and other fowl for meat or eggs. A pig farm is one that specializes in raising pigs or hogs for bacon and other pork products and may be free range, intensive, or both. Farm control and ownership has traditionally been a key indicator of status and power in Medieval European agrarian
Rudbeckia is a plant genus in the sunflower family. The species are called coneflowers and black-eyed-susans; the species are herbaceous perennial plants growing to 0.5–3.0 m tall, with simple or branched stems. The leaves are spirally arranged, entire to lobed, 5–25 cm long; the flowers are produced in daisy-like inflorescences, with yellow or orange florets arranged in a prominent, cone-shaped head. A large number of species have been proposed within Rudbeckia, but most are now regarded as synonyms of the limited list given below. Several accepted species have several accepted varieties; some of them, are popular. Many cultivars of these species are known. Rudbeckia species are eaten by the caterpillars of some Lepidoptera species including cabbage moths and dot moths; the name was given by Carolus Linnaeus in honor of his teacher at Uppsala University, Professor Olof Rudbeck the Younger, his father Professor Olof Rudbeck the Elder, both of whom were botanists. Rudbeckia is one of at least four genera within the flowering plant family Asteraceae whose members are known as coneflowers.
Accepted speciesRudbeckia alpicola Piper – showy coneflower - Cascades in Washington Rudbeckia auriculata Kral – eared coneflower - Alabama, Florida Panhandle Rudbeckia californica A. Gray – California coneflower - California Rudbeckia flava T. V. Moore - Colorado, Wyoming Rudbeckia fulgida Aiton – orange coneflower - eastern USA + Canada, Texas to Connecticut + Quebec Rudbeckia glaucescens Eastw. – waxy coneflower - northwestern California, southwestern Oregon Rudbeckia graminifolia C. L. Boynton & Beadle – grassleaf coneflower - Florida Panhandle Rudbeckia grandiflora DC. – rough coneflower - east Texas to Missouri. & A. Gray – sunfacing coneflower - Mississippi to Virginia Rudbeckia hirta L. – black-eyed susan - widespread in USA and Canada Rudbeckia klamathensis – Klamath coneflower - northwestern California Rudbeckia laciniata L. – cutleaf coneflower, Green-head Coneflower - widespread in USA + Canada Rudbeckia maxima Nutt. – great coneflower - east Texas to Missouri Rudbeckia missouriensis Engelm.
Ex C. L. Boynton & Beadle – Missouri coneflower - Texas to Illinois. Gray – Mohr's coneflower - Florida Panhandle, southern Georgia Rudbeckia mollis Elliott – softhair coneflower - Florida Panhandle, southern Georgia, South Carolina Rudbeckia montana A. Gray – montane coneflower - Colorado, Oregon Rudbeckia newmannii Loudon Rudbeckia nitida Nutt. – shiny coneflower - Florida, Alabama, Louisiana Rudbeckia occidentalis Nutt. – western coneflower - from Colorado to Washington + northern California Rudbeckia scabrifolia L. E. Br. – roughleaf coneflower - Louisiana, eastern Texas Rudbeckia speciosa – showy coneflower - eastern USA Rudbeckia subtomentosa Pursh – sweet coneflower - Mississippi Valley Rudbeckia texana P. B. Cox & Urbatsch – Texas coneflower - Louisiana, eastern Texas Rudbeckia triloba L. – Brown-eyed Susan - from eastern Texas to Quebec. An abundance of these plants on a rangeland indicates good health, they are rabbit resistant. Media related to Rudbeckia at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Rudbeckia at Wikispecies
In forestry, windthrow or blowdown refers to trees uprooted or broken by wind. Breakage of the tree bole instead of uprooting is sometimes called windsnap. Windthrow is common in all forested parts of the world that high wind speeds; the risk of windthrow to a tree is related to the tree's size, the'sail area' presented by its crown, the anchorage provided by its roots, its exposure to the wind, the local wind climate. A common way of quantifying the risk of windthrow to a forest area is to model the probability or'return time' of a wind speed that would damage those trees at that location. Tree senescence can be a factor, where multiple factors contributing to the declining health of a tree reduce its anchorage and therefore increase its susceptibility to windthrow; the resulting damage can be a significant factor in the development of a forest. Windthrow can increase following logging in young forests managed for timber; the removal of trees at a forest's edge increases the exposure of the remaining trees to the wind.
Trees that grow adjacent to lakes or other natural forest edges, or in exposed situations such as hill sides, develop greater rooting strength through growth feedback with wind movement, i.e.'adaptive' or'acclimative' growth. If a tree does not experience much wind movement during the stem exclusion phase of stand succession, it is not to develop a resistance to wind. Thus, when a or developed stand is bisected by a new road or by a clearcut, the trees on the new edge are less supported by neighbouring trees than they were and may not be capable of withstanding the higher forces which they now experience. Trees with heavy growths of ivy, wisteria, or kudzu are stressed and may be more susceptible to windthrow, as the additional foliage increases the tree's sail area. Trees with decayed trunk, fungus-induced cankers and borer damages are more susceptible to "windsnap". Windthrow disturbance generates a variety of unique ecological resources on which certain forest processes are dependent. Windthrow can be considered a cataclysmic abiotic factor that can generate an entire new chain of seral plant succession in a given area.
Windthrow can be considered to act as a rejuvenating process whereby regeneration is made possible with new resource availability. Severe uprooting opens bare patches of mineral soil; these patches have been shown, in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, to have higher biodiversity than the surrounding forest floor. Additionally, the gap created in the forest canopy when windthrow occurs yields an increase in light and nutrient availability in near proximity to the disturbance. Toppled trees have the potential of becoming nurse logs, nurturing habitats for other forest organisms. Derecho Krummholz: crooked, stunted trees Microburst: sinking air Reaction wood Alabama Hiking Trail Society Cited Dec. 2007 USFS "Trail Information— State Route 410 Mather Memorial Parkway / Clearwater" Online bulletin board. Cited Dec. 15, 2007 Nina G Ulanova, Forest Ecology and Management. D. & Loucks, O. L. Catastrophic windthrow in the presettlement forests of Wisconsin. Ecology, 65, 803–809. Canham, C. D. Denslow, J.
S. Platt, W. J. Runkle, J. R. Spies, T. A. & White, P. S. Light regimes beneath tree-fall gaps in temperate and tropical forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 20, 620–631. Canham, C. D. Papaik, M. J. & Latty, E. J. Interspecific variation in susceptibility to windthrow as a function of tree size and storm severity for northern hardwood tree species. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 31, 1–10. Mladenoff, D. J. Dynamics of nitrogen mineralization and nitrification in hemlock and hardwood treefall gaps. Ecology, 68, 1171–1180. Peterson, C. J. & Pickett, S. T. A. Forest reorganization – A case study in an old-growth forest catastrophic blowdown. Ecology, 76, 763–774. Pickett, S. T. A. & White Patch dynamics: a synthesis. The Ecology of Natural Disturbance and Patch Dynamics, pp. 371–384. Academic Press, Orlando, FL. Metcalfe, D. J. Bradford, M. G. & Ford, A. J.. Cyclone damage to tropical rain forests: Species‐and community‐level impacts. Austral Ecology, 33, 432-441