Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
|42g. Ponca Plains||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 Ponca Plains comprise a transition area between the more densely settled farmland east of the Missouri River and J, the sparsely populated rangeland west of the river. Though not glaciated, this "west river" ecoregion resembles the adjacent Southern Missouri Coteau (42e) and Southern Missouri Coteau Slope (42f) in climate, physiography, and land use. Twenty to twenty-two inches of precipitation per year and level to slightly rolling terrain favor intensive rowcrop agriculture.
Area (square miles): 969
Surficial Material and Bedrock
Order (Great Groups)
Precipitation - Mean annual (inches)
Potential Natural Vegetation
Mixed-grass prairie: Little bluestem, prairie sandreed, green needlegrass and needleandthread.
Land Use and Land Cover
Intensive rowcrop agriculture for soybenas, corn, sunflowers, and alfalfa. Some grazing on Anselmo and Holt Soils.