Grasslands in the World
Grasslands are found in areas with not enough rainfall for the growth of a forest, but it is adequate to support the growth of grasses. The grasslands can be said as a connecting link between deserts and forests.
- Grassland can be defined as an area where vegetation is dominated by grasses. These are found on all continents except Antarctica. The grasslands are one of the largest biomes on earth. It supports a variety of species. For example, African Savana feeds animals including zebras, wildebeest, gazelles, and giraffes.
Grasslands hold about 20 percent of global soil carbon stocks. Herbaceous (non-wooded) vegetation dominates grasslands and, unlike forests, carbon is stored in the roots and soil underground. Furthermore, this above-ground biomass carbon is relatively short-lived due to grazing, fire, and senescence. In contrast, grassland species have an extensive fibrous root system, with grasses often accounting for 60-80% of the biomass carbon in this ecosystem.
Degradation of Grasslands:
The Grasslands are the most threatened ecosystems. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the most significant threat to grasslands is human land use, especially agriculture and mining.
Types of Grasslands
Mainly the grasslands are subdivided into two types, namely
- Tropical and subtropical Grasslands
- Temperate Grasslands
Some other types of grasslands:
- Tundra grassland
- Desert and Xeric
Tropical and subtropical Grasslands:
Tropical and subtropical grasslands and savannahs is a terrestrial biome defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The biome is dominated by grass and/or shrubs located in semi-arid to semi-humid climate regions of subtropical and tropical latitudes.
For tropical and subtropical grassland types the rainfall level is between 90 and 150 Cm per year.
The tropical grasslands are home to a variety of species like elephants, giraffes, lions, cheetahs, zebra, etc.
Examples of some tropical grasslands:
- Savannah- East Africa
- Compos- Brazil
- Llanos- situated to the east of the Andes in Cambodia and Venezuela, in north-western South America.
Temperate grasslands are Mid-latitude grasslands and are similar to tropical grassland but the climatic conditions are different. The temperate grasslands consist of cold withers and warm summers with 25cm and 75 cm rainfall annually.
The best example of temperate grasslands are Shrub lands. Temperate grassland is classified as Temperate grasslands, savannahs, and shrublands.
These grasslands are home to many animals such as bison, gazelles, zebras, rhinoceros, wild horses, mice, rabbit’s other carnivores animals like lions, wolves, cheetahs, leopards, prairie dogs, etc.
Example of Temperate Grasslands:
- Pampas- Argentina
- Prairie- America
- Veld-South Africa
Flooded grasslands are those grasslands that are flooded seasonally or year-round.
Example of flooded grasslands:
- Everglades of Florida: everglades are the world’s largest rain-fed flooded grassland.
- The Pantanal of Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay
The Montane are high-altitude grasslands located on high Mountain ranges. An example of Montane grassland is Paramo a high-altitude ecosystem of the Andes Mountain.
These are similar to montane grassland, Polar Arctic tundra can have grasses, but high soil moisture means that few tundras are grass-dominated today.
Desert and Xeric Grasslands:
Also called desert grasslands, they are composed of sparse grassland ecoregions located in the desert and xeric shrubland biome. Temperature extremes and low amounts of rainfall characterize these kinds of grasslands. Therefore, plants and animals are well adapted to minimize water loss.
List of grasslands of the world
A list of important grasslands in the world is given in the table below:
||Europe and North Asia
(Eurasia and Europe)
The Prairies ecosystem is a part of the Temperate Grassland
(North America USA Canada)
|Pampas||Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay
|Savannah||Africa and Australia
The largest area of Savannah is found in Africa, South America, Australia, Asia (India), etc.
|Taiga||Europe and Asia|
|Llanos||Cambodia and Venezuela
You can also read:
- Important deserts of the world
- Important Mountain Ranges of the World
- List of Important Glaciers of Himalayan mountain
- List of main volcanoes in the world
- List of Mountain Passes of India
- Major rivers of the world
- Important lakes of the world
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