Grasslands

Sally R.

Description:

  • Grasslands are characterized as lands dominated by grasses rather than large shrubs or trees and they have many flowers.
  • Grasslands are found where there is not enough regular rainfall to support the growth of a forest, but not so little as to form a desert.
  • They are generally open and flat.
  • There are two types of grasslands- (1) Savanna (2) Temperate
  • Grasslands are located between forests and deserts. They are found in North & South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Australia. (every continent except Antartica) They are in the interior parts of the continents where its dry.

Abiotic Factors:

Climate:

  • The average rainfall per year is 500-900 mm.
  • They range from cool to hot summers and ice in winter.
  • The average temperature varies from - 20°C to 30 °C.

Parental material and soil:

  • Parental material refers to the bedrock where the soil is formed.
  • They have a thick layer of humus soil on the top layer of the surface.

Topography:

  • It is the variety of landscapes present and is determined by slopes, elevation and aspects.

Natural disturbances:

  • Natural disturbances alter grasslands in many ways. They affect their species diversity, distribution, community formations, successions, etc.

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Biotic Factors

A large variety of plants and animals inhabit grasslands. They vary from continent to continent. Different climates, elevations, rainfall, and other abiotic factors have a huge impact on which types of plants and animals can survive in certain grassland biomes.


Animals:

Bison

Antelope

Prairie Dogs

Chipmunks

Birds

Zebras

Anteaters

African Bush elephants


Plants:

Blue-Eyed Grass

Shrubs

Black Oat Grass

Mountain Mint

Indian Grass

Common Strawberries

Purple Prairie Clovers

Cattails


Adaptations:

Animal-

Some animals, such as bison, have broad, flat-topped teeth and digestive systems especially adapted to feed on grasses.

Plant-

Soft stems enable prairie grasses to bend in the wind. Narrow leaves minimize water loss.

Interactions:

Food Chain:

Primary Producer- Star Grass

Primary Consumer- Harvester Ant

Secondary Consumer- Aardvark

Tertiary Consumer- Hyena

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Importance of Biome:

A majority of the land in North America is made of grasslands. It provides a number of products including food crops and meat, contributes to the provision of clean water and flood prevention, and are essential to the storage of carbon in the soil.

Human Impact:

Grasslands are disappearing due to dividing up the land for farming and urban development. Farming is bad because it ruins the animals habitat, they don't have room to move around. 25% of Grasslands have disappeared due to urban development. Hunting is another problem, that's how these animals are becoming more endangered.

Sources:


The Grassland Biome. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/glossary/gloss5/biome/grassland.html


Abiotic and Biotic Factors of the Grasslands. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.tutorvista.com/biology/abiotic-and-biotic-factors-of-the-grasslands


Biotic Factors - Grasslands. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from https://sites.google.com/site/grasslandbiome123/biotic-factors


Biology of Plants: Plant Adaptations. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.mbgnet.net/bioplants/adapt.html


Grassland Ecosystem Food Chain in Africa. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/grassland-ecosystem-food-chain-africa-38411.html


Grassland Facts: Why Grasslands Are Important - Infographic. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.mercola.com/infographics/grasslands-facts.htm


Human Impact. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://grasslandsbiome3.weebly.com/human-impact.html