Pannonian steppe

The Pannonian steppe[1] is a variety of grassland ecosystems[2] found in the Pannonian Basin.


The Pannonian steppe is found in Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia.[3] In Hungary it is known as Puszta.

Typical draw well in the Puszta in Hortobágy National Park

Pannonian steppe in Hungary - Puszta

The Puszta (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈpustɒ]) is a grassland biome[4] on the Great Hungarian Plain (Alföld) around the River Tisza in the eastern part of Hungary as well as on the western part of Hungary and in the Austrian Burgenland. The Hungarian puszta is an exclave of the Eurasian Steppe.

It covers a total area of ca. 50,000 km² (20,000 mi²). The characteristic landscape is composed of treeless plains, saline steppes and salt lakes, and includes scattered sand dunes, low, wet forests and freshwater marshes along the floodplains of the ancient rivers.[5]

The word Puszta means "plains", a vast wilderness of grass and bushes. The name comes from an adjective of the same form, meaning "waste, barren, bare". Puszta is ultimately a Slavic loanword in Hungarian (compare Serbo-Croatian and Bulgarian pust and Polish pusty, both meaning bare or empty).

The climate is continental. Landscape is widely cultivated, the original Puszta landscape now being found only in a few places, for example in Hortobágy National Park.

300 species of birds are found here.[5]

Pannonian steppe in Slovakia

The Čenkovská steppe near Mužla is the only steppe National nature reserve in Slovakia. The protected area declared in 1951 covers a total of 83 hectares.[6][7]

Devínska Kobyla forest-steppe in Slovakia

Apart from the Čenkovská forest-steppe, other notable steppe and forest-steppe biomes in Slovakia located mostly around the Danubian and East Slovak plains and the southern ranges of the Pramatra system include Devínska Kobyla and the Slovak Karst (connects to Aggtelek in Hungary).[8][9][10]

Pannonian steppe in Austria

The Pannonian steppe in Austria is present in Burgenland mainly around Lake Neusiedl.[11]

Pannonian steppe in Seewinkel

See also


External links

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