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Types of GrasslandsI. Domestic GrasslandsII. North American GrasslandsIII. Eurasian StreppesIV. South American PampasV. South African VeldVI. Australian Grasslands
o Generally, all grasslands have in common a climate characterized by rainfall between 250 and 800 mm(too light to support a heavy forest and too great to result in a desert)o Have a high rate of evaporation and periodic severe droughtso Grazing and burrowing are the dominant animalso Usually require fires for maintenance, renewal and elimination of woody growth
adapted to periods of drought and survive under low rainfall but grasses grow best under optimal moisture and temperature. Poorest: where precipitation is the lowest and high temperature Best: where the mean annual precipitation is greater than800 mm and mean annual temperature is above 15 °C, The greater the mean annual precipitation, the greater the aboveground production
Vegetation Most visible feature is the tall, green, ephemeralherbaceous growth that develops in spring and diesback during autumn. Herbaceous Layer 1. First layer - consist of low growing and ground-hugging plants 2. Middle layer - consist of shorter grasses and forbs 3. Upper layer – consist of leaves and flowering stems of tall grasses, leafy stalks and flowers of forbs
Animal lifeo Life in herbaceous layer varies as the strata become more pronounced from spring to fall.o Invertebrate life is most abundant and varied.o Large grazing ungulates and burrowing mammals are the most conspicuous vertebrates
Human Impact Most grasslands are plowed under for cropland Degraded by overgrazing Replaced native plants species with highly forage plants Removed great herds ofwild ungulates and replacedwith domestic stock DUST BOWL