SavannaTropical Grasslands By Alondra Ortiz, Diane Nguyen, Saito Gutierrez, and Gabriel Garcia
Location • Absolute: Between latitudes 5o and 15o North and South of the Equator • Interior of Venezuela, Brazilian Highlands, most of central Africa surrounding Congo Basin, parts of Mexico and northern Australia. • Relative: South of Venezuela, west of Washington, east of Perth, Australia. • Most are located between forests and deserts.
Physical Features • Rainy & dry season (25- 150 in/yr. of precipitation) • Rolling grasslands, shrubs and short trees isolated trees. • Long, hot dry seasons with short periods of rainfall. • Also, many fires play a large role in ecosystem with dry grasses to stimulate new grass growth.
Plant Life • Plants are resistant to drought (period of dry weather with no rain) • Plants have thorns and sharp leaves to protect against predators. • Long root system and are tall & coarse in areas of high precipitation and sparse in areas of less precipitation. • Trunks of trees are gnarled and thick to retain moisture. • Grasses grow beneath trees, adapt to seed and die back at the start of dry seasons. • Ex: Deciduous- lose leaves to reduce transpiration due to winter drought. • Xerophyte: Sclerophyllous- Leaves are small, waxy and thorn- like.
Animal Life • Animals have limited food supply so they either adapt for short rainy seasons to migrate or vertical feeding. • Reproduce during rainy seasons- ensures that many young survive. • Animals don’t sweat to lose body heat so they lose it through panting or large areas of exposed skin, or ears like those of elephant. • They burrow under the ground to escape the heat. • Ex: zebra, lions, elephants, leopard, hyena etc.
Threats • Low elevations are threatened by rises in sea levels associated with global climate change. (caused extinction.) • Only 8.5% of biome is protected (parks and reserves) • Caused more extinction due to climate change as well as pollution. • By building factories, mines, houses as well as farms, created waste as well as exhaustion. • Introducing animals affected other animals such as with cattle grazing feeding on grass that wildlife feed on. • The water becomes polluted with chemicals that wildlife must feed on. (drink)