Temperate Grassland
• Temperate grasslands have hot summers and
cold winters, while rainfall is moderate.
• In the summer temperatures can be well over
38 degrees Celsius.
• In the winter temperatures can be as low as 40 degrees Celsius.
• The annual amount of rainfall is 10 to 30
Animal adaptations
• Most temperate grasslands are inhabited by hares,
mice, and other small rodents.
• Smaller rodents defend themselves from predators by
living underground or by having camouflaged fur.
• Most of the larger animals stay in large, intimidating
packs, or escape their predators by running.
• In the winter, rodents store food in their underground
tunnels and keep out of the cold or hibernate.
• Bigger animals survive the winter by growing a thicker
coat and scavenging for food.
• Poaching, overgrazing and clearing of the land
for crops are the main threats.
• About 16 percent of tropical grasslands have
been converted for agriculture or urban
• If global temperatures rise, it is predicted that
some current grasslands will become desserts
as rainfall patterns change.
Plant Adaptation
• During a fire, while above-ground portions of grasses may perish, the root
portions survive to sprout again.
• Some prairie trees have thick bark to resist fire.
• Prairie shrubs readily resprout after fire.
• Roots of prairie grasses extend deep into the ground to absorb as much
moisture as they can.
• Extensive root systems prevent grazing animals from pulling roots out of
the ground.
• Prairie grasses have narrow leaves which lose less water than broad
• Grasses grow from near their base, not from tip, thus are not permanently
damaged from grazing animals or fire.
• Many grasses take advantage of exposed, windy conditions and are wind
• Soft stems enable prairie grasses to bend in the wind.
Defining Features
• There is a grassland biome on every continent
except for Antarctica.
• About one quarter of the land on earth is
made up of grasslands.
• Most of the fertile agricultural land in the US
and Canada were originally temperate
• Grasslands supply ¾ of the energy that the
world needs
• http://library.thinkquest.org/C0113340/text/b
• http://www.mbgnet.net/bioplants/adapt.html
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKozAsNly
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