from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A vast semiarid grass-covered plain, as found in southeast Europe, Siberia, and central North America.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The grasslands of Eastern Europe and Asia. Similar to (US) prairie and (African) savannah.
- n. More properly, the name given vast cold, dry grass-plains.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. One of the vast plains in Southeastern Europe and in Asia, generally elevated, and free from wood, analogous to many of the prairies in Western North America. See savanna.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A more or less level tract devoid of trees: a name given to certain parts of European and Asiatic Russia, of which the most characteristic feature is the absence of forests.
- n. In phytogeography, xerophilous grassland. This formation as met, with at high elevations is distinguished as alpine steppe.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. extensive plain without trees (associated with eastern Russia and Siberia)
With its famous black soil, the Ukrainian steppe is one of the most fertile regions in world but the legacy of Soviet collectivisation means agriculture is not as efficient as in other countries.
The word steppe, or step, is Russian, and not Tartarian.
Generally, the steppe is a transitional belt surrounding the desert and separating it from humid climates beyond.
The steppe was a vast plain that shone with ponds and corkscrew rivers and evoked a wistful sadness.
It is a great chalky plateau, and might almost be called a steppe or prairie.
The one major geographic feature other than the steppe are the Tien Shan mountains, a range that divides Central Asia from South Asia and China.
The collembolan Vertagopus brevicaudus a "steppe" species; bbizonal steppe and tundra species; cthis group characterizes the southern tundra subzone; dthis group is relatively small, but is valuable in subdividing the tundra zone into subzones.
The potential natural vegetation is mostly sagebrush steppe which is distinct from that of the surrounding ecoregions.
On the higher plateau, the vegetation comprises different steppe types depending on edaphic factors, such as steppe of Stipa tenacissima in the sides of the Atlas and glacis with argilo-sandy soils; steppe of Artemisia "Herba alba" in the glacis and depressions that are silty; steppe of Lygeum spartum which follows sandy accumulations.
Evidence suggests that a kind of steppe-forest with scattered trees and more extensive grasses may have once occupied much of this area, but centuries of grazing and fuel-wood collection have changed its ecological character.