Meaning of Estepa

What is Estepa:

The steppe is an extension of flat land whose flora and fauna are characterized by their adaptation to an extreme, semi-arid and cold climate.

The steppe is a terrestrial biome that is further from the ocean and closer to mountain barriers.

In Latin America we can find several steppes at the foot of the Andes Mountains, such as the Argentine pampas, the Patagonian pampas, the steppe mountains in Peru and the valluna steppe in Bolivia.

In Mexico, the steppes are commonly called the northern plains, whose extension of their terrestrial biome reaches as far as Canada.

Steppe, as a flat terrain of land, can be used as a synonym for plain, plateau and pampas.

Characteristics of the steppe

The steppes are characterized by their temperate to cold climate and strong winds. This, among other phenomena, causes long droughts in stony sandy soils, poor in organic matter but high in minerals.

The flora and fauna of the steppes are, therefore, adapted to that particular ecosystem. The sparse and low vegetation is home to a small fauna of birds, mammals and rodents.

Steppe flora

The flora of the steppes is characterized by its herbaceous vegetation. These types of xerophytic plants are adapted to water scarcity with their deep roots, such as low grasses and bushes.

One of the known large exceptions is found in Puna, in the steppe of Peru and Bolivia, called Titanka de Raimondi (scientific name: Puja raimondii). It can reach up to 12 meters in height, being an average of 3 to 4 meters. It is characterized mainly because it only begins to bear fruit from 100 years of age.

Steppe fauna

The fauna of the steppe consists mainly of birds, small mammals and rodents. The interaction between the extreme conditions of the steppe with these animals form a terrestrial biome with its corresponding ecological community.

Some animals that we can find in this ecosystem are: eagles, hawks, foxes and cuis.

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