Savanna

By: Courtney Page

What is a Savanna

Savannas consist of rolling grasslands, scattered shrubs, and isolated trees.

They are located between tropical rainforest and desert biome.

There is not a lot of rain so the savanna is unable to support forests.

Savannas have very warm temperatures.

There are two seasons one being summer which is a wet season and the other being winter which is a dry season.


Savannas can be found in Africa, South America, India, and Australia.

Abiotic Factors

Climate:

  • Warm year round.
  • During the winter the weather gets cooler but never cold.
  • During the summer season it is very wet and humid.
  • Has more vegetation than forest.
  • Is dryer than a rainforest, but not as dry as a desert.


Soil:

  • During the winter shrubs and grasses die due to lack of fertilizer.
  • During the summer soil is very fertile because of grazing of large animals.


Water:

  • During the winter there is little water.
  • During the summer there is a plentiful abundance of water.
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Biotic Factors

The savanna is home to many species of large grazing herbivores, large carnivorous cats, and other meat eating creatures. Each has a specific niche and partake in savanna's food-web.


Animals


  • Elephant
  • Giraffe
  • Zebra
  • Gazelle
  • Hippopotamus
  • Wildebeest
  • Emu
  • Cheetah
  • Lion
  • Crocodile



Plants


  • Jackalberry Tree
  • Whistling Thorn
  • Manketti Tree
  • Other small shrubs and grasses


Adaptations

  • Grant's Zebra uses its hind legs to kick predators, its teeth as a defense against predators, and its stripes create a color pattern which breaks up the body's outline, making them harder to see for predators.
  • Umbrella Thorn Acacia has a deep tap root that it uses to obtain water during the dry season of winter. The umbrella shaped top allows the tree to obtain as much sunlight as possible with the fewest amount of leaves.

Interactions

Food Chain


  • Primary Producer: Red Oat Grass
  • Primary Consumer: Mouse
  • Secondary Consumer: Mongoose
  • Tertiary Consumer: Caracal


  • Primary Producer: Finger Grass
  • Primary Consumer: Gazelle
  • Secondary Consumer: Cheetah
  • Tertiary Consumer: Spotted Hyena

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Importance of Biome

Savannas are a location very high in biodiversity. They are the home of native plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. There are also over ten thousand different species of invertebrates. Most of the animals found in the savanna biome are not found anywhere else in the world.


The savanna biomes are also rich in culture. Australian savannas have Aboriginal culture. These communities manage a large portion of the land in the region. The didgeridu and the band Yothu Yindi came from the tropical savannas. Pastoralism was also seen in the history of Australia which is the home to some of the largest cattle stations in the world. National Parks such as Kakadu and Purnululu are also great natural features that tourist value about the savannas.

Human Impacts on Biome

  • The use of fire for hunting and by tribes has destroyed the vegetation of the savanna. Hunters use fire for the removal of undergrowth to gain a greater long distance visibility of game animals.
  • Grazing by domestic animals reduces the competitiveness of the grasses in the savanna.
  • The harvesting of grass for thatch has recently been considered by the forestry authorities.

Sources

Savanna Biomes. (n.d.). Retrieved February 11, 2016, from http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/savanna.htm

ABIOTIC FACTORS. (2010). Retrieved February 11, 2016, from https://tropicalgrassland.wordpress.com/abiotic-factors/

BIOTIC FACTORS. (2010). Retrieved February 11, 2016, from https://tropicalgrassland.wordpress.com/biotic-factors/

The African Savanna. (n.d.). Retrieved February 11, 2016, from http://savannabiomeassignment.weebly.com/the-african-savanna.html

Frequently Asked Questions. (n.d.). Retrieved February 11, 2016, from http://www.savanna.org.au/all/faq.html

Human impact on the savanna woodlands. (n.d.). Retrieved February 11, 2016, from http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol7/iss1/art9/des_human_influence.html

Biotic Factors. (n.d.). Retrieved February 11, 2016, from http://africansavannabiome.weebly.com/biotic-factors.html