GrasslandsSavanna (Tropical Grassland) and Prairie (Temperate Grassland)
A. Location-North America The middle of North America 1. The prairies are a type of grassland dominated by herbaceous plants and grasses. 2. Very few trees grow on the prairies and are usually widely scattered. 3. There are two major threats to grasslands - conversion to agriculture (or urban areas) and global warming
B. Prairie-Flora 1. The most common types of plant life on the North American prairie are Buffalo Grass, Sunflower, Crazy Weed, Asters, Blazing Stars, Coneflowers, Goldenrods, Clover, and Wild Indigos. 2. Much of the prairie has been plowed to make room for farmland.
C. Prairie- Fauna • 1. Some common animals in the grasslands are Coyotes, Eagles, Bobcats, the Gray Wolf, Wild Turkey, Fly Catcher, Canadian Geese, Crickets, Dung Beetle, Bison, and Prairie Dog.
D. Precipitation-Prairie 1. Precipitation in the prairies can reach from about 12.6 inches in the shortgrass prairie to 21.7 inches in the tallgrass prairies. There is usually a long dry period during the summer months. • Every 30 years or so there is a long drought period which lasts for several years. 2. The most famous drought was in the 1930s, when the prairies were called the "Dust Bowl".
E. Temperature-Prairie • A wide range of temperatures, with hot summers and cold winters. • Strong winds blow across the endless plains during both summer and winter. • 1. The average climate in the prairie ranges from 20 degrees to 70 degrees.
F. FACTS Tallgrass prairie once covered 142 million acres. 2. Prairies once covered about 40% of the United States. 3. About one percent of the North American prairies still exists. 4. Most fertile soil 5. Used for farmland 6. Prairie fires were important to the development of the tallgrass prairie as they kept the prairie from becoming a forest.
Savanna-Location • Savannas of one sort or another cover almost half the surface of Africa (about five million square miles, generally central Africa) and large areas of Australia, South America, and India.
Savanna-Precipitation • Savannas are always found in warm or hot climates where the annual rainfall is from about 20-50 inches per year. • It is crucial that the rainfall is concentrated in six or eight months of the year, followed by a long period of drought when fires can occur.
Savanna-Temperature • Savannas have warm temperature year round. • Average temp: 70-80 degrees year round
Savanna-Fauna • Animals (which do not all occur in the same savanna) include giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, kangaroos, mice, moles, gophers, ground squirrels, snakes, worms, termites, beetles, lions, leopards, hyenas, and elephants. • http://www.marietta.edu/~biol/biomes/grass.htm
Savanna-Flora • Grasses are the dominant plant life in the savanna. • Different varieties are found in different savannas. Some grasses grow 6 to 9 feet tall. • Trees growing alone or in small clusters • In order for the grasses to survive the dry season and the periodic fires, they have developed an adaptation that allows them to grow quickly when there is adequate water. • In fact, fire stimulates new growth and replenishes the soil with nutrients. • acacia tree, baobab tree,