The Quiet Grasslands

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by rcunningham1989
Last updated 6 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Life Science
Grade:
7

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The Quiet Grasslands

Temperate grasslands are found in several areas. These locations include: North America (found mostly in the prairies in the mid west), the Veldts of Africa, the Pampas of Argentina and Uruguay and the Eurasian Steppes. As temperate grasslands, these locations all have one major thing in common – the climate. In these areas, there is little precipitation yearly, which does not allow many trees to grow and grass to prosper while maintaining fertile soil.

Locations of Temperate Grasslands:

General Description:

Temperate grasslands are made of a rich combination of grasses and other herbs, and contain some of the world’s most fertile soil. In this biome, the climate is semiarid and receives light rainfall, around 25-51 cm, yearly. Moreover, most of this precipitation comes down as snow, which serves as moisture for the approaching growing season. Furthermore, summers can reach temperatures of 100+ degrees Fahrenheit. Grasses and herbs are present all year round, with the most dominant being: compositae, asteraceae, and leguminosae (the sunflower and pea family). In the more tropical areas, erect grasses and reclining species are found. These grasses have growth buds, where leave and shoots develop, at or below the surface and are well adapted to fire, drought or cold. The more narrow grasses have an intricate root system that capture moisture and nutrients, which helps it to moderate the heat gain during humid summers. Two examples would be: turf grasses and bunch grasses. Turf grasses are more situated with humid climates, and have underground stems called rhizomes where new plants sprout. Bunch grasses, which are more associated with the drier part of the biome, don’t have rhizomes and reproduce seeds. Several flowers found in this biome are: asters, coneflowers, goldenrods (solidagos), vetches, and sweet clovers. Due to light rainfall and dry climate, not many trees are found in these grasslands (because trees can not withstand a decline in water, and can not cope with fires). Most animals in the grassland are herbivores and are named ungulates, which are mammals with hoofs, such as horse or deer. Although, most organisms in this biome rarely have protection from predators due to the fact that the environment is mostly made of grass. The long legs that the ungulates help assist them to run fast and escape from predators. Examples of animals found in the grassland are: bison, antelope, birds, gophers, and coyotes. Temperate grasslands are unique because they are divided into two sections: prairies and steppes. Moreover, temperate grasslands are unique because their grasses practice upholding their alcohol consumption to a minimum. Lastly, it is known as the transitional biome. This means that is found between the desert and the forest.

Abiotic ' Biotic Factors:

Abiotic factors are non-living things in the environment. We can find several examples of these in the temperate grassland. Such examples would be: soil, oxygen, temperature, and water. On the other hand, biotic factors are living organisms in the atmosphere. There are numerous samples such as: bison, antelopes, gophers and birds.

Food Chain:

This food chain begins with the primary producers shown in the image, such as the plants and trees. These organisms are soon eaten by the primary consumers, which are vastly known as herbivores. Examples of these would be elephants, zebras, termites and other insects. Moreover, these creatures are soon devoured by secondary consumers, which are also known as carnivores. Cheetahs, hyenas, and vultures may be samples of secondary consumers. As the chain moves on, we transfer to the third level of consumers where decomposer and feeders are found.

Food Web:

The Quiet Grassland (Temperate Grassland)

Similar to the food chain, food webs begin with producers such as plants, leaves, bark, fruit and grass. Several of these organisms are soon eaten by our primary consumers such as: grasshoppers, mice, rabbits, caterpillars, and deer. Moreover, these animals are then eaten by our secondary consumer, which in this image is the blue jay. The third level of consumers then eats this bird with examples being wolves, foxes and hawks. Lastly, being known largely for being omnivores, decomposers come into play to eat away the dead bodies.

Coyote

Bison

Antelope

Coneflower

Goldenrod

Buffalo Grass

Temperature ' Rainfall Chart:

In this graph, the red line represents the temperature in degrees Celsius and the blue bars represent the amount of rainfall per month. As we can see, the months in the middle of the year such as April, May, June and July hold some high records for precipitation and temperature. Rainfall is important to temperate grasslands because it determines the height of the grass to grow. Moreover, temperature is also important in this biome because it maintains itself by exiling trees and other irregular organisms from entering the atmosphere.

Mans Role:

With very fertile soil, temperate grasslands are a perfect setting for farming. Once, this was discovered, man set out to find several of these biomes to being expanding their fields and planting their crops. The results of their expansion cause animals to drive away which soon alters the conditions in the environment. Moreover, when turned into farmland, the main source of food for the animals in the temperate grassland is taken away, not allowing these organisms to receive their nutrients, and modifying the food chain. Overall, mans role on this biome effects it negatively.

turned into farmland, the main source of food for the animals in the temperate grassland is taken away, not allowing these organisms to receive their nutrients, and modifying the food chain. Overall, mans role on this biome effects it negatively.

This is a photo of a temperate grassland being inhabited by Bison.

By: Sheyanne Villamor (Per. 2)


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