Next-Gen

grassland

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Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Ecology

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Temperate Grassland

Location:Temperate grasslands are located North of the Tropic of Cancer(23.5 degrees north) and South of the tropic of Capricorn (23.5 degrees south). The major temperate grasslands include the Veldts of Africa, The Pampas of South America, The Steppes of Eurasia, and The Plains of North America.

Temperature and Climate:They have hot summers and cold winters. Summer temperatures can be over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, whilst winter temperatures can be as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. They typically have between 10 and 35 inches of rain a year, much of it occurring in the late spring and early summer. Snow often serves as a pond of moisture for the beginning of the growing season. Seasonal drought and occasional fires help maintain them.

Animals:They have a low variety of wildlife, yet a high profusion of wildlife. In North America the dominant grazing animals are Bison and Pronghorn. Rodents have pocket gophers and prairie dogs. Carnivores like wolves, coyotes, swift foxes, badgers and black-footed ferrets. They also have birds such as grouses, meadowlarks, quails, sparrows, hawks and owls.

Plants:Grasses are the presiding vegetation. They have less large trees and shrubs. Seasonal drought, occasional fires and grazing by large mammals all prevent woody shrubs and trees from becoming established. A few trees such as cottonwoods, oaks and willows grow in river valleys, and a few hundred species of flowers grow among the grasses. The various species of grasses include purple needlegrass, blue grama, buffalo grass, and galleta. Flowers include asters, blazing stars, coneflowers, goldenrods, sunflowers, clovers, psoraleas, and wild indigos.


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