In physical geography, steppe (from Slavicstep') is a plain without trees (apart from those near rivers and lakes); it is similar to a prairie, although a prairie is generally reckoned as being dominated by tall grasses, while short grasses are said to be the norm in the steppe. It may be semi-desert, or covered with grass or shrubs, or both depending on the season. The term is also used to denote the climate encountered in such regions, too dry to support a forest but not so dry as to make it a desert.
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