Grasslands are the natural vegetations that naturally occur on every continent on earth, apart from Antarctica. There are primarily 2 kinds of grasslands – temperate and tropical grasslands and they can grow without sufficient rainfall and most kinds of grasslands are formed between forests and deserts. Grasslands are usually found on flat lands that have a lot of open space around. Though they are commonly known as grasslands over the world, they have specific names in most regions. In northern America they are called as Prairie, in Europe they are called as Steppes and in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil they are called as Pampas.
Let us take a look at the 2 main kinds of grasslands and learn about the flora and fauna in this region.
In these kinds of grasslands, the weather is usually warm and dry and they have a specific season for rains. The tropical grasslands make up the Southern Hemisphere region that receives more rainfall as compared to the Northern Hemisphere. The most famous of tropical grasslands is the African Savannah which is home to some of the most famous species of animals in the world. The African Savannah is home to most national parks and sanctuaries in the country that houses animals like lions, hyenas, warthogs, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, wild dogs etc. The grass in these kinds of grasslands tend to grow to 2 meters or more and their roots extend several feet deep in to the soil. There have been studies that prove that these grasslands are a product of animal movement and behavior; as trampling of vegetation is common during migration of certain animals and eating habits of certain animals shunts the growth of certain plants restricting them from becoming trees.
The grass in these kinds of grasslands is comparatively much shorter and grows just about millimeters as these regions experience less rainfall. The Temperate Grasslands have 2 dominant seasons, a growing season when the grasslands are in bloom and the dormant season, which usually faces an ice cover making growth of any kind of vegetation impossible. The conditions in these kinds of grasslands are dry and windy and the fauna living in such conditions adapt themselves to suit the climate. The most common animals in such regions are gazelles, deer, jack rabbits, fox, badgers, squirrels, prairie dogs, wolves, cheetahs, coyotes, snakes and mice. Some of these species are burrowing animals as a result of the cold winters, as they hibernate to battle the extreme temperatures.
Both kinds of Grasslands are important for humans as they provide ample vegetation for grazing animals and livestock that are a source of milk and meat. Grasslands are also the most apt land for agriculture as the soil is fertile and deep and perfect for almost all types of pastures and crops. Most of agricultural cultivation takes place in these grasslands around the world and they are responsible for most of the crops, seeds and agricultural vegetation that makes up for most of the food that is consumed by humans.