GRASSLAND BIOMES. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE - CHAPTER 8. GRASSLANDS. Grasses feed thousands all over the world. Grasses are found on every continent on Earth. All grains (wheat, rice, oats) are grasses. Grasses can survive vast temperature changes (from -25 o C to 70 o C). . GRASSLAND DEFINED.
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ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE - CHAPTER 8
Ex: A single rye plant can grow as tall as 2 meters and have roots spread out as far as 600 km!
Ex: less rain = short/fine-leaf grasses
more rain = tall/broad-leaf grasses
eliminate competing trees and shrubs
clear away all dead grasses that build up
release nutrients and minerals from the soil
help some grass seeds to germinate
Ex: Large populations of grazing animals will prevent trees and shrubs from growing around a grassland pond
Rainy seasons – short cycles of heavy rain
Drought seasons – longer periods of little or no rain
Ex: Savanna in Africa has both rainy and drought seasons
Rapid growth – savanna plants grow quickly.
Runners – long horizontal stems above and below the ground – plants spread quickly and are protected from fire.
Tufts – are large clumps of tall coarse grasses.
Thorns – trees and shrubs grow spike like thorns or sharp leaves to prevent herbivores from eating them.
Ex: Trees - Acacia, Baobab, Grasses - Rhodes, red oak, elephant, star and lemon , Shrubs – aloe candelabra tree
Baobab tree only has leaves in the short rainy season.
Acacia trees grow leaves only at the top of the branches and send out a chemical that make the leaves inedible after a giraffe eats one mouthful and one tree sends chemical signals to warn he surrounding trees.
Migrate with food availability
Reproduce during rainy season
Vertical feeding pattern animal height determines what plants they eat this allows many animals to occupy smaller more specific niches
Ex: lions, cheetah, springbok, elephant, rhino, Weaver bird, secretary bird