Environmental Factors to Consider during Planning of Management
for Range Plants in the Dickinson, North Dakota, Region, 1892-1999

Llewellyn L. Manske PhD Range Scientist
Tables and Figures Compiled by Sheri Schneider
North Dakota State University
Dickinson Research Extension Center

 

Introduction

The three most ecologically important environmental factors affecting rangeland plant growth are light, temperature, and water (precipitation). Plant growth and development are controlled by internal regulators that are modified according to environmental conditions. Length of daylight, temperature, precipitation, seasonal precipitation pattern, soil moisture, and evaporation are the environmental factors that affect plant growth in a region. Native vegetation and naturalized plants function as meteorologic instruments capable of measuring all the integrated climatic factors. The type of vegetation in a region is a result of the total effect of the long-term climatic factors for that region. Plant communities experience annual dynamic changes in response to annual climatic variability. Successful management of the grassland ecosystems of a region requires knowledge of the climatic factorsí effect on plant growth and of the relationships between plant growth and the climate of a region. This paper will attempt to describe the three most important environmental factors of the Dickinson, North Dakota, region by using historical weather data and to point out some of the conditions and variables that limit plant growth. These factors should be considered during the development of long-term grassland management strategies.

Study Area

The study area is the region around the city of Dickinson, Stark County, in southwestern North Dakota, USA.

The climate of western North Dakota has changed several times during geologic history. A major climate change resulted when the Rocky Mountains began to uplift about 70 to 80 million years ago and formed a barrier preventing humid Pacific Ocean air masses from flowing eastward. The Great Plains became much drier. Two million years ago the climate became cooler and more humid, and several periods of glaciation occurred. The periods of glacial advance were cool and humid. Glacial advances occurred during periods when the snow accumulation on top of the glacier during the winter was greater than the amount of ice melted during the summer. The interglacial periods were warmer and drier. The changes in climate since the last glaciation period, which occurred between 100,000 and 10,000 years ago, have strongly influenced the present conditions of the region. The last ice sheet reached its maximum advance between 14,000 and 12,000 years ago. About 10,000 years ago, a sudden change in the climate to drier and warmer summers but colder winters occurred. This major change accelerated the melting of the glacial ice. The climate was much drier and warmer for the period between 10,000 and 5,000 years ago. During the period between 8,500 and 4,500 years ago the region experienced frequent summer droughts and extensive soil erosion from wind (Bluemle 1977, Bluemle 1991).

The climate changed about 5,000 years ago to conditions like those of the present, with cycles of wet and dry periods. The wet periods have been cool and humid, with greater amounts of precipitation. A brief wet period occurred around 4,500 years ago. Relatively long periods of wet conditions occurred in the periods between 2,500 and 1,800 years ago and between 1,000 and 700 years ago. Recent short wet periods occurred in the years from 1905 to 1916, 1939 to 1947, and 1962 to 1978. The dry periods have been warmer, with reduced precipitation and recurrent summer droughts. A widespread, long drought period occurred between the years 1270 and 1299, and other more recent drought periods occurred in the 1860's, and from 1895 to 1902, 1933 to 1938, and 1987 to 1992. The current climatic pattern in the Dickinson region is cyclical between wet and dry periods and has existed for the past 5,000 years (Bluemle 1977, Bluemle 1991, Manske 1994a).

The native vegetation in the Dickinson region is the Wheatgrass-Needlegrass Type (Stevens 1963, Zaczkowski 1972, Great Plains Association 1986, Barker and Whitman 1988, Shiflet 1994) of the mixed grass prairie.

Methods

Daylight duration data for the Dickinson location of latitude 46E 48' N, longitude 102E 48' W, were tabulated from daily sunrise and sunset time tables compiled by the National Weather Service, Bismarck, North Dakota.

Temperature and precipitation data were taken from historical climatological data (1892-1999) collected at the Dickinson Research Center, latitude 46E 53' N, longitude 102E 49' W, elevation 2,500 feet, Dickinson, North Dakota. The Dickinson Research Center is a benchmark weather station. The weather data collection site has been located in its present position since February 1893.

A technique reported by Emberger et al. (1963) was used to develop water deficiency months data from the historical temperature and precipitation data. The water deficiency months data were used to identify months with conditions unfavorable for plant growth. This method plots mean monthly temperature (oC) and monthly precipitation (mm) on the same axis, with the scale of the precipitation data at twice that of the temperature data. The temperature and precipitation data are plotted against an axis of time. The resulting ombrothermic diagram shows general monthly trends and identifies months with conditions unfavorable for plant growth. Water deficiency conditions exist during months when the precipitation data bar drops below the temperature data curve and plants are under water stress. Plants are under temperature stress when the temperature curve drops below the freezing mark (0oC).

Definition of Terms

Drought conditions exist when precipitation amounts for a month, growing season, or annual period are 75% or less of the long-term mean. Wet conditions exist when precipitation amounts for a month, growing season, or annual period are 125% or greater of the long-term mean. Normal conditions exist when precipitation amounts for a month, growing season, or annual period are greater than 75% and less than 125% of the long-term mean. Water stress occurs in plants when the rate at which water is lost through transpiration exceeds the rate at which water is replaced by absorption. A water deficiency period exists when the amount of rainfall is lower than potential evapotranspiration demand. The freeze-free period is the number of days between the average date of the last occurrence of 32oF or lower in the spring and the average date of the first occurrence of 32oF or lower in the fall and is approximately the length of growing season for annually seeded plants. Growing season for perennial plants roughly coincides with the period between the first 5 consecutive days in spring and the last 5 consecutive days in fall with the mean daily temperature at or above 32oF (0oC).

Results and Discussion

Light

Light is the most important ecological factor affecting plant growth. Light is necessary for photosynthesis, the process that converts light energy into chemical energy. Variations in quality, intensity, and duration of light affect plant growth. Light intensity varies with the amount of humidity and cloud cover because atmospheric moisture absorbs and scatters light rays. The greatest variation in intensity of light received by range plants results from the various degrees of shading from other plants. Most range plants require full sunlight or very high levels of sunlight for best growth. Day-length period (photoperiod) is one of the most dependable cues by which plants time their activities in temperate zones. Day-length period for a given date and locality remains the same from year to year. Changes in the photoperiod function as the timer or trigger that activates or stops physiological processes initiating growth and flowering of plants and starts the process of hardening for resistance to low temperatures in fall and winter. Sensory receptors, areas with special pigment in the buds or leaves of a plant, detect day length and night length and can activate one or more hormone and enzyme systems that bring about physiological responses (Odum 1971, Daubenmire 1974, Barbour et al. 1987).

The tilt of the earthís axis in conjunction with the earthís annual revolution around the sun produces the seasons and changes the length of daylight in temperate zones. The equator has an almost uniform day length of 12 hours all year long. Dickinson (Fig. 1) has nearly uniform day and night lengths (12 hours) during only a few days, near the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, 20 March and 22 September, respectively, when the sunís apparent path crosses the equator as the sun travels north or south, respectively. The shortest day length (8 hours, 23 minutes) occurs at winter solstice, 21 December, when the sunís apparent path is farthest south of the equator. The longest day length (15 hours, 52 minutes) occurs at summer solstice, 21 June, when the sunís apparent path is farthest north of the equator. The length of daylight during the growing season (mid April to mid October) oscillates from about 13 hours in mid April, increasing to nearly 16 hours in mid June, then decreasing to around 11 hours in mid October (Fig. 1).

The phenological development of rangeland plants is triggered by changes in the length of daylight. Vegetative growth is triggered by photoperiod and temperature (Langer 1972, Dahl 1995), and initiation of reproductive growth is triggered primarily by photoperiod (Roberts 1939, Leopold and Kriedemann 1975, Dahl 1995) but can be slightly modified by temperature and precipitation (McMillan 1957, Leopold and Kriedemann 1975, Dahl and Hyder 1977, Dahl 1995). Some plants are long-day plants and others are short-day plants. Long-day plants reach the flower phenological stage after exposure to a critical photoperiod and during the period of increasing daylight between mid April and mid June. Generally, most cool-season plants with the C3 photosynthetic pathway are long-day plants and reach flower phenophase before 21 June. Short-day plants are induced into flowering by day lengths that are shorter than a critical length and that occur during the period of decreasing day length after mid June. Short-day plants are technically responding to the increase in the length of the night period rather than to the decrease in the day length (Weier et al. 1974, Leopold and Kriedemann 1975). Generally, most warm-season plants with the C4 photosynthetic pathway are short-day plants and reach flower phenophase after 21 June.

The annual pattern in the change in daylight duration follows the calendar and is the same every year for each region. Grassland management strategies based on phenological growth stages of the major grasses can be planned by calendar date after the relationships between phenological stage of growth of the major grasses and time of season have been determined for a region with consideration of a possible variation of about Ī 7 days to accommodate annual potential modification from temperature and precipitation (Manske 1980).

Temperature

Temperature is an approximate measurement of the heat energy available from solar radiation. At both low and high levels temperature limits plant growth. Most plant biological activity and growth occur within only a narrow range of temperatures, between 32oF (0oC) and 122oF (50oC).

The frost-free period is the number of days between the last day with minimum temperatures below 32oF (0oC) in the spring and the first day with minimum temperatures below 32oF (0oC) in the fall and is approximately the length of growing season for annually seeded plants. The frost-free period for western North Dakota generally lasts for 120 to 130 days, from mid to late May to mid to late September (Ramirez 1972). Perennial grassland plants are capable of growing for periods longer than the frost-free period, but in order to continue active growth they require temperatures above the level that freezes water in plant tissue and soil. Many perennial plants begin active growth more than 30 days before the last frost in spring and continue growth after the first frost in fall. The growing season for perennial plants is considered to be between the first 5 consecutive days in spring and the last 5 consecutive days in fall with the mean daily temperature at or above 32EF(0EC). In western North Dakota the growing season for perennial plants is considered to be generally from mid April through mid October. Low air temperature during the early and late portions of the growing season greatly limits plant growth rate. High temperatures, high evaporation, drying winds, and low precipitation after mid summer also limit plant growth.

The Dickinson, North Dakota, area experiences severe, windy, dry winters with little snow accumulation. The springs are relatively moist in most years, and the summers are often droughty but are interrupted periodically by thunderstorms. The long-term (108-year) mean annual temperature is 40.7oF (4.8oC) (Table 1). January is the coldest month, with a mean temperature of 10.9oF (-11.7oC). July and August are the warmest months, with mean temperatures of 68.6oF (20.3oC) and 66.9oF (19.4oC), respectively. Months with mean monthly temperatures below 32.0oF (0.0oC) are too cold for active plant growth. Low temperatures define the growing season for perennial plants, which is generally from mid April to mid October (6.0 months, 183 days). During the other 6 months each year, plants in western North Dakota cannot conduct plant growth because of low temperatures. Soils are frozen to a depth of 3 to 5 feet for a period of 4 months (121 days) (Larson et al. 1968). The early and late portions of the 6-month growing season have very limited plant activity and growth. The period of active plant growth is generally 5.5 months (168 days).

The Dickinson area has large annual and diurnal changes in monthly and daily air temperatures. The range of seasonal variation of average monthly temperatures between the coldest and warmest months is 57.7oF (32.0oC) (Table 1), and temperature extremes at Dickinson have a range of 161.0oF (89.4oC), from the highest recorded summer temperature of 114.0oF (45.6oC) to the lowest recorded winter temperature of -47.0oF (-43.9oC) . The diurnal temperature change is the difference between the minimum and maximum temperatures observed over a 24-hour period. The average diurnal temperature change during winter is 22.0oF (12.2oC), and the change during summer is 30.0oF (16.7oC). The average annual diurnal change in temperature is 26.0EF (14.4EC) (Jensen 1972).

The large diurnal change in temperature during the growing season, which has warm days and cool nights, is beneficial for plant growth because of the effect on the photosynthetic process and respiration rates. Warm days increase the photosynthetic rate, and cool nights reduce the respiration rate (Leopold and Kriedemann 1975).

Different plant species have different optimum temperature ranges, and plant temperature requirements are generally variable with different stages of development. The optimum temperature range for photosynthesis and productivity generally varies with the photosynthetic pathway used by the plant. Cool-season plants, which are C3 photosynthetic pathway plants, have an optimum temperature range of 50o to 77oF (10o to 25oC). Warm-season plants, which are C4 photosynthetic pathway plants, have an optimum temperature range of 86o to 105oF (30o to 40oC) (Coyne et al. 1995). Cool-season (C3) plants have lower optimum temperatures for photosynthesis and do not use water as efficiently as do warm-season (C4) plants. Cool- and warm-season plants have different growth rates at the various temperatures experienced during the growing season.

Rates of evaporation are dependent on temperatures; as average temperatures decrease, evaporation rates decrease, and as temperatures increase, evaporation rates increase. The relationship between temperature and evaporation level affects the ratio of cool-season to warm-season grasses in the plant species composition. The native vegetation in the Dickinson area generally has a mixture of 60% cool-season and 40% warm-season species. North of the region, the lower average temperature and the lower evaporation rate result in an increase in the percentage of cool-season species. South of the region, the higher average temperature and the greater evaporation rate result in an increase in the percentage of warm-season species. A mixture of cool- and warm-season species is highly desirable because the different species can express optimum growth over a wide range of temperatures and extend the period of plant growth during the growing season.

Higher temperatures increase evaporation. When the evaporation rate exceeds the soil water supply, plants experience water stress. Water stress increases the rate of senescence. Senescent leaves are lower in nutritional quality than actively growing leaves. Thus, the annual variation in temperature, evaporation, water stress, and senescence rate is responsible for the variation in nutritional quality of herbage from year to year.

Precipitation

Water is essential for all plants and is an integral part of living systems. Water is ecologically important because it is a major force in shaping climatic patterns, and water is biochemically important because it is a necessary component in physiological processes (Brown 1995).

Plant water stress limits growth. Plant water stress develops in plant tissue when the rate of water loss through transpiration exceeds the rate of water absorption by the roots. Water stress can vary in degree from a small decrease in water potential as in midday wilting on warm clear days to the lethal limit of desiccation (Brown 1977).

The long-term (108-year) annual precipitation for the area of Dickinson, North Dakota, is 16.03 inches (407.09 mm). The long-term mean monthly precipitation is shown on Table 1. The growing season precipitation (April to October) is 13.56 inches (344.58 mm) and is 84.59% of the annual precipitation. June has the greatest monthly precipitation, at 3.55 inches (90.22 mm).

The seasonal distribution of precipitation (Table 2) shows the greatest amount of precipitation occurring in the spring (7.30 inches, 45.54%) and the least amount occurring in winter (1.54 inches, 9.61%). Total precipitation for the 5-month period of November through March averages less than 2.5 inches (15.35%). The precipitation received in the 3-month period of May, June, and July accounts for 50.53% of the annual precipitation (8.10 inches).

The annual and growing season precipitation levels and percent of the long-term mean for 108 years (1892 to 1999) are shown in Table 3. Fourteen drought years (12.96%) occurred between 1892 and 1999, with precipitation amounts of 75% or less of the long-term mean (Table 4). Fifteen wet years (13.89%) had precipitation amounts of 125% or more of the long-term mean (Table 5). Annual precipitation amounts at normal levels, between 75% and 125% of the long-term mean, were received during 79 years (73.15%) (Table 3). Seventeen drought growing seasons (15.74%) occurred between 1892 and 1999 (Table 6). The area experienced 19 wet growing seasons (17.59%) (Table 7). Growing season precipitation amounts at normal levels, between 75% and 125% of the long-term mean, were received during 72 years (66.67%) (Table 3).

Precipitation for total year and growing season and percent of long-term
mean (LTM) for Dickinson, ND weather data:  Table 3a through 3f

1892 - 1909

Table 3a
1910 - 1929 Table 3b
1930 - 1949 Table 3c
1950 - 1969 Table 3d
1970 - 1989 Table 3e
1990 - 1999 Table 3f

 

Temperature and Precipitation

Temperature and precipitation act together to affect the physiological and ecological status of range plants. The biological situation of a plant at any time is determined by the balance between rainfall and potential evapotranspiration. The higher the temperature, the greater the rate of evapotranspiration and the greater the need for rainfall to maintain homeostasis. When the amount of rainfall is less than potential evapotranspiration demand, a water deficiency exists. Under water deficiency conditions, plants are unable to absorb adequate water to match the transpiration rate, and plant water stress develops. Range plants have mechanisms that help reduce the damage from water stress, but some degree of reduction in herbage production occurs.

The ombrothermic graph technique reported by Emberger et al. (1963) was intended to identify the monthly periods in which water deficiency conditions exist. This technique assumes that most plants experience some level of water stress during water deficiency periods. This technique is not sensitive enough to identify the degree of water stress experienced by plants or the level of long-term damage. This technique also cannot identify periods shorter than 1 month because most temperature and precipitation data are collected and summarized by meteorologists on a monthly basis. This characteristic in the data set forces a default assumption that water deficiency conditions shorter than a month do not cause long-lasting negative effects and that short-term water stress causes minimal damage from which the plants recover. It also assumes that stored soil water is adequate to compensate for plant transpiration losses during periods of water deficiency shorter than a month.

Monthly periods with water deficiency conditions are identified on the ombrothermic graphs when the precipitation data bar drops below the temperature data curve. On the ombrothermic graphs, periods during which plants are under low-temperature stress are indicated when the temperature curve drops below the freezing mark of 0.0o C (32.0o F). The long-term ombrothermic graph for the Dickinson area (Fig. 2) shows near water deficiency conditions exist for the months of August, September, and October, a finding indicating that range plants generally may have a difficult time growing and accumulating herbage biomass during these 3 months. Favorable water relations occur during the months of May, June, and July, indicating that range plants should be able to grow and accumulate herbage biomass during these 3 months.

The ombrothermic relationships for Dickinson, North Dakota, are shown for each month from 1892 to 1999 in Figure 3. Some of the early monthly temperature data are missing from the historical records. The months with missing temperature data are April, August, and September, 1892; June, and July, 1894; April, 1895; June, July, and August, 1897; July, August, September, October, November, and December, 1902; and January, and February, 1903.

Ombrothermic diagram of mean monthly temperature and monthly
precipitation at Dickinson, North Dakota: Figures 3a through 3k

1890 - 1899 Figure 3a
1900 - 1909 Figure 3b
1910 - 1919 Figure 3c
1920 - 1929 Figure 3d
1930 - 1939 Figure 3e
1940 - 1949 Figure 3f
1950 - 1959 Figure 3g
1960 - 1969 Figure 3h
1970 - 1979 Figure 3i
1980 - 1989 Figure 3j
1990 - 1999 Figure 3k

 

The 108-year period (1892 to 1999) had a total of 648 months during the growing season. Of these growing season months, 211.5 months have had water deficiency conditions, which indicates that range plants were under water stress during 32.64% of the growing season months (Fig. 3, Tables 8 and 9). This amounts to an average of 2.0 months during every 6.0-month growing season that range plants have been limited in growth and herbage biomass accumulation because of water stress. The converse indicates that only 4.0 months of an average year have conditions in which plants can grow without water stress.

Months when temperature and precipitiation conditions
caused water stress for perennial plants: Tables 8a through 8f

1890 - 1909 Table 8a
1910 - 1929 Table 8b
1930 - 1949 Table 8c
1950 - 1969 Table 8d
1970 - 1989 Table 8e
1990 - 1999 Table 8f

 

May, June, and July are the 3 most important precipitation months and therefore constitute the primary period of production for range plant communities. May and June appear to be the most important months for dependable precipitation. Only 16 (14.81%) of the 108 years have had water deficiency conditions during May, and 10 years (9.26%) have had water deficiency conditions during June. But only 3 years (2.78%), 1897, 1900, and 1936, have had water deficiency conditions in both May and June of the same year. Forty-one (37.96%) of the 108 years have had water deficiency conditions in July. Only 2 years, 1900 and 1936, have had water deficiency conditions in May, June, and July of the same year (Fig. 3, Tables 8 and 9).

Most of the growth in range plants occurs in May, June, and July (Goetz 1963, Manske 1994b). Peak aboveground herbage biomass production usually occurs during the last 10 days of July, a period which coincides with the time when 100% of the growth in height has been attained (Manske 1994b). Range grass growth coincides with the 3-month period of May, June, and July, when 51% of the annual precipitation occurs.

August, September, and October are not dependable for positive water relations. August and September have had water deficiency conditions for 50.00% and 50.93% of the years, respectively, and October has had water deficiency conditions for 49.07% of the years (Table 9). These 3 months make up 42% of the growing season, and they have water deficiency conditions more than half the time. The water relations in August, September, and October limit range plant growth and herbage biomass accumulation.

Water Stress

Water stress in plants occurs during water deficiency periods, which develop when the amount of rainfall is less than evapotranspiration demand. Water stress in range plants can be minor to severe and can last from a few hours to several years. Rain deficiency periods in which 75% or less of the long-term mean precipitation is received are called droughts. Drought conditions are traditionally considered to be long periods, i.e. 12 months for a full year or 6 months for a complete growing season, but water deficiency periods of 1 month are long enough to limit herbage production greatly and warrant consideration and recognition.

Drought years have occurred 13.0% of the time. Drought growing seasons have occurred 15.7% of the time. Water deficiency months have occurred 32.6% of the time. Water deficiency has occurred in the months of May and June 14.8% and 9.3% of the time, respectively. July has had water deficiency conditions less than 40% of the time. August, September, and October have had water deficiency conditions more than 50% of the time. Water deficiency periods lasting for a month place plants under water stress that is severe enough to reduce herbage biomass production. These levels of water stress are a major factor limiting the quantity and quality of plant growth in the Dickinson area and can limit livestock production if not considered during the development and implementation of long-term grazing management strategies.

Conclusion

The vegetation in a region is a result of the total effect of the long-term climatic factors for that region. The three most ecologically important environmental factors that affect rangeland plant growth are light, temperature, and water (precipitation).

Light is the most important ecological factor because it is necessary for photosynthesis. Changes in time of year and time of day coincide with changes in the angle of incidence of the sunís rays, which cause variations in light intensity. Shading of sunlight by cloud cover and from other plants affects plant growth. Day-length period is important to plant growth because it functions as a trigger to physiological processes. Most cool-season plants reach flower phenophase between mid May and mid June. Most warm-season plants flower between mid June and mid September.

Daylight duration oscillation for each region is the same every year and changes with the calendar. Grassland management based on phenological growth stages of the major grasses can be planned by calendar date.

Plant growth is limited by both low and high temperatures and occurs within only a narrow range of temperatures, between 32E and 122E F. Perennial plants have a 6-month growing season, between mid April and mid October. Diurnal temperature changes with warm days and cool nights are beneficial for plant growth. Cool-season plants have lower optimum temperatures for photosynthesis than do warm-season plants, and cool-season plants do not use water as efficiently as do warm-season plants. Temperature affects evaporation rates, which affect the ratios of cool-season to warm-season plants in plant communities. A mixture of cool- and warm-season plants is highly desirable because the herbage biomass production is more stable over wide variations in seasonal temperatures. The dynamic expression of plant growth in a community can respond to a wide range of temperature conditions because the grass species in a mixture of cool- and warm-season species have a wide range of optimum temperatures.

Water is essential for living systems. Average annual precipitation is 16 inches at Dickinson, with 85% occurring during the growing season and 51% of the annual precipitation occurring in May, June, and July. Plant water stress occurs when the rate of water loss by transpiration exceeds the rate of replacement by absorption. Years with drought conditions have occurred 13.0% of the time during the past 108 years. Growing seasons with drought conditions have occurred 15.7% of the time.

Water deficiencies exist when the amount of rainfall is lower than evapotranspiration demand. Temperature and precipitation data can be used in ombrothermic graphs to identify monthly periods with water deficiencies. During the past 108 years, 32.6% of the growing season months have had water deficiency conditions that have placed range plants under water stress. This amounts to an average of 2.0 months during every 6-month growing season that range plants were limited in growth and herbage biomass accumulation. May, June, and July have had water deficiency conditions 14.8%, 9.3%, and 38.0% of the time, respectively. August, September, and October have had water deficiency conditions 50.0%, 50.9% and 49.1% of the time, respectively. One month with water deficiency conditions causes plants to experience water stress severe enough to reduce herbage biomass production.

Most of the growth in range grasses occurs in May, June, and July. In the Dickinson, North Dakota, area 100% of range grass leaf growth in height and 91% to 100% of range flower stalk growth in height are completed by 30 July. Peak aboveground herbage biomass production usually occurs during the last 10 days of July, a period which coincides with the time during which 100% of the growth in height is being attained. Most range grass growth occurs during the 3-month period of May, June, and July, when 51% of the annual precipitation occurs. Grassland management strategies for a region should consider the environmental factors that affect and limit range plant growth.

Acknowledgment

I am grateful to Sheri Schneider for assistance in processing the weather data, compilation of the tables and figures, and word processing this manuscript. I am grateful to Amy M. Kraus and Naomi J. Thorson for assistance in preparation of this manuscript.

 

Report Tables and Figures
(click on Table or Figure name)

Table 1. Long-term (1892-1999) mean monthly temperature and monthly precipitation at Dickinson, ND.

Table 2. Seasonal percentage of mean annual precipitation distribution (1892-1999).

Table 3a through 3f. Precipitation for total year and growing season and percent of long-term mean (LTM) for Dickinson, ND weather data

1892 - 1909

Table 3a
1910 - 1929 Table 3b
1930 - 1949 Table 3c
1950 - 1969 Table 3d
1970 - 1989 Table 3e
1990 - 1999 Table 3f


Table 4.
Years with precipitation amounts for 12 months with 75% or less of the long-term mean (LTM).

Table 5. Years with precipitation amounts for 12 months with 125% or more of the long-term mean (LTM).

Table 6. Years with precipitation amounts for the growing season with 75% or less of the long-term mean (LTM).

Table 7. Years with precipitation amounts for the growing season with 125% or more of the long-term mean (LTM).

Table 8a through 8f. Months when temperature and precipitiation conditions caused water stress for perennial plants.

1890 - 1909 Table 8a
1910 - 1929 Table 8b
1930 - 1949 Table 8c
1950 - 1969 Table 8d
1970 - 1989 Table 8e
1990 - 1999 Table 8f


Fig 1
. Annual pattern of daylight duration at Dickinson, North Dakota.

Fig 2. Ombrothermic diagram of long-term (1892-1999) mean monthly temperature and monthly precipitation at Dickinson, North Dakota.

Fig 3a through 3k. Ombrothermic diagram of mean monthly temperature and monthly precipitation at Dickinson, North Dakota.

1890 - 1899 Figure 3a
1900 - 1909 Figure 3b
1910 - 1919 Figure 3c
1920 - 1929 Figure 3d
1930 - 1939 Figure 3e
1940 - 1949 Figure 3f
1950 - 1959 Figure 3g
1960 - 1969 Figure 3h
1970 - 1979 Figure 3i
1980 - 1989 Figure 3j
1990 - 1999 Figure 3k

 

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