The grasslands cover the largest acreage of the terrestrial biomes. North America has the prairie, covering the center of the continent. Russia has the steppe, South America has the pampas, Africa has the savanna, Australia has the outback. Grasslands occur at the equator and at latitudes significantly above and below it. Grasslands often transition into desert. Both temperate grasslands and tropical savannas both have rainfall ranges from 10 to 30 inches (25 to 75 cm) annually. Tropical savannas get their rainfall in the rainy season for 6 months and then are dry for the next 6 months. Temperate grasslands have their rainfall spread throughout the year but have a cold season that the tropical savanna lacks. Tropical savannas have higher densities of animal life than temperature grasslands. Fire is a major environmental factor that occurs in the dry season and kills most woody plants such as trees and shrubs. Fire recycles nutrients to the soil and prevents any one species from becoming excessively dominant - fire actually increases species diversity. Soil quality is very good and has resulted in vast grassland expanses being converted to fields of wheat and corn. Major plants of the grasslands include the grasses, and many plants of the sunflower and pea families. Animals include bison (North America), antelope, Elephants (Africa), anteaters (Brazil), Lions (Africa) and many more. Grasslands sustain the largest herds of land mammals of all biomes.
|Grassland Annual Stats:|
|Temperature||0°F to 100°F|
|Rainfall||10 inches to 30 inches|
|Dewpoint||usually over 50°F|
|Soil||rich and fertile|