Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
|42d. Northern Missouri Couteau||Level IV Ecoregion|
|Home||The Northwestern Glaciated
Plains ecoregion marks the westernmost extent of continental glaciation.
The youthful morainal landscape has significant surface irregularity
and high concentrations of wetlands. The rise in elevation along the
eastern boundary defines the beginning of the Great Plains. Land use
is transitional between the intensive dryland farming on Ecoregion 46i
to the east and the predominance of cattle ranching and farming to the
west on the Northwestern Great Plains (43).
The Northern Missouri Coteau lies in a transition zone to a more boreal climate to the north and a more arid climate to the west. Willow and aspen, southern outliers of aspen parkland to the north, may occur at wetland margins. Rough fescue, also a northern species, appears in grassland associations. Wetlands tend to dry out earlier in the summer than on the Missouri Coteau (42a) to the south and east. Mixed dryland agriculture is the major land use.
Area (square miles): 1697
Surficial Material and Bedrock
Order (Great Groups)
Precipitation - Mean annual (inches)
Potential Natural Vegetation
Western wheatgrass, green meedlegrass, little bluestem, and needleandthread. Green ash and aspen on broken terrain.
Land Use and Land Cover
Mainly cattle grazing and some haylands. Level areas are culivated.