Temperate Grasslands Biome. J. Sileo. The Basics of the Temperate Grasslands. Temperature Ranges -40 °F --- +100°F Annual Precipitation 20-35 inches, typically in the form of snow Seasons Experiences four seasons, hot summers, frigid winters
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Ungulates, or hoofed mammals, are especially prevalent
Falcons, prairie dogs, insects, fox, gophers and lynx also common
Purple needlegrass, foxtail, ryegrass, and buffalo grass
Shrubs and trees often destroyed by fire
Wide selection of wild flowers found
Purple Needle Grass
IB Environmental Systems
Temperate Grass: Shorter and drier than grass found in tropical areas, temperate grass is often located in prairies and steppes with more drastic seasonal climate changes than its taller-grassed relatives
Temperature: Summer temperatures are extremely hot, sometimes reaching over 100°F (38°C). Winter temperatures, to the contrary, are frigid with the ability to reach temperatures below -40°F (-40°C).
Precipitation: appx. 10-30 inches per year, although much is snow during the winter
Solar Isolation:Unlike the conventional four season calendar we are used to, Temperate Grasslands have two unique seasons: (1) growing and (2) dormant. The growing season lasts approximately 100-175 days and is the period of time when grassland vegetation is able to grow. The dormant season is the timeframe when frost covers all vegetation, and nothing is able to grow because of the freezing temperatures.
Limiting Factors: Droughts, wildfires, and grazing by large mammals all contribute to the prevention of woody shrubs and trees from invading the lands. While grasses are undoubtedly the majority of all plants, a few trees and non-woody plants do exist.
Temperate Grasslands are home to a diverse collection of plants and animals.
The biome’s vast array of fauna includes:
gazelles, zebras, rhinoceroses, wild horses, lions, wolves, prairie dogs, jack rabbits, deer, mice, coyotes, foxes, skunks, badgers, blackbirds, grouses, meadowlarks, quails, sparrows, hawks, owls, snakes, grasshoppers, leafhoppers, and spiders
However, the biome is undoubtedly know for its seemingly endless list of indigenous grasses. Some of the plants include:
purple needlegrass, blue grama, buffalo grass, asters, blazing stars, coneflowers, goldenrods, sunflowers, clovers, psoraleas, and wild indigos
All information extracted from http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/glossary/gloss5/biome/grassland.html
Temperate Grasslands feature many familiar food chains, such as the one depicted here. Mice feed on grass, which serve as prey to snakes. Hawks are predators to snakes, and earthworms serve as a popular grassland decomposer.
1) Why are Temperate Grasslands are often located between Desert and Tropical Rainforest biomes?
Grasslands receive a moderate amount of rainfall. This actually makes them a combination, or balance, of deserts and tropical rainforests.
2) What are other names for the Temperate Grassland?
While Americans are used to the terms “prairie” and “grassland”, this biome is actually known by many different names. In Asia, they are referred to as “steppes”, in South America “pampas”, and in South Africa “veldts”.
3) Between what two well-known latitudes are the temperate grasslands located?
Tropic of Capricorn & Tropic of Cancer