In the winter, grassland temperatures can be as low as -40° F, and in the summer it can be as high 70° F. There are two real seasons, a growing season and a dormant season. The growing season is when there is no frost and plants can grow. This can last from 100 to 175 days. During the dormant time no plants can grow due to the fact of it being too cold.

In temperate grassland rainfall averages from 10-30 inches per year. In tropical and sub-tropical grasslands the average rainfall ranges from 25-60 inches per year. This is a very big factor in classifying an area as a grassland because trees require their roots to dig deep and in grassland upper layers are moist part of the year and deeper layers are always dry.

Predator/Prey Relationship

  1. Hawks feed on mice
  2. Mice feed on grass
  3. Lions feed on zebras
  4. Bluejays feed on grasshoppers
  5. Wolves feed on deer
  6. Foxes feed on squirrels

Cooperation and Competition

  • Zebra and wildebeest alert each other to the presence of predators facilitating escape action (cooperation)
  • Meerkats post sentry guards that lookout for predators and other dangers and raise an alarm to warn others within the social group (cooperation)
  • Lions and hyenas both wanting limited food sources (competition)
  • Crocodiles and hippos both wanting a part of a river (competition)

Ecological Concerns

  • fires are burning down large areas of grassland
  • continued global warming will cause grasslands to turn into deserts
  • the continuation of urban development is cutting into grassland areas

There are many endangered plants in grasslands, some of them include white-rayed petachaetos, fountain thistle, and presedio clarkia.

The ecological importance of grasslands is that they account for 70% of the worlds agricultural land. It also accounts for 50% of the world's calories.

Additional Information

  • grasslands support 81 species per 1000 m²
  • fires on grasslands can move as fast as 600 feet per minute
  • only around 2% of the original prairies of North America still exist. Much of it has been turned into farmland