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Transcript of temperate grassland
Description Animals of the Temperate Grassland As grasslands consist primarily of open space, many animals have had to adapt in order to better conceal their presence from predators. Some of these adaptations include:
living and moving in herds
having fur or feathers that blend in with surrounding plant life Plants of the Temperate Grassland Many of the plants found within a temperate grassland are perennials , meaning they survive year to year.
In the Prairie, the dense root system allows plants to survive droughts and fires, as well as holding the soil in place
The amount of rainfall affects both the root depth and grass height .
Trees and shrubs are scarce in the grassland area due to climate.
Types of plant species:
Many of the species of plants found in the grassland include:
Purple needle grass, foxtail, rye grass, wild oats, as well as a few flowers such as asters, blazing stars , golden rods , and wild indigo. Threats Overgrazing by livestock and plowing
converted to agricultural lands because of their rich soil
47 percent of temperate grasslands have been converted to agriculture or urban development.
Lack of fire and fragmentation
past and present wildlife eradication (including the bison slaughter of the 1800s and ongoing prairie dog poisoning in North America’s plains). Large , rolling terrains of grasses, flowers and herbs.
There are two types of grassland; short grass(dry, hot summers and colder winters) and tall grass(humid and very wet).
Short grass grasslands are found near areas such as the rocky mountains, and the steppes of Eurasia.
Tall grass grasslands can be found in areas such as the North American Prairie, and the Pampas of South America.
Trees can be found in very few areas, due to lack of rainfall, fires, and wind.
Has one of the world's most fertile soils.
Often, the lands are cleared for agricultural purposes.
Consists of warm summers depending on latitude position.
There are two dominant seasons, a dormant season and a growing season. (the growing season has no frost so plants can grow, and this lasts up to 100-175 days).
Average rainfall is 50-88cm per year, most of it being snowfall.
Grasslands in the southern hemisphere get more rainfall than those of the north, and are primarily tall grass grasslands.
Hot summers and high temperatures make the grasslands susceptible to fires, which are very common to grassland areas. What Does it Look Like? Steppes of Eurasia North American Prairie The Pampas Plant Adaptations The plants of the the temperate grasslands survive due to their growth point being close to the ground, and that even though fires occur, the grasses and flowers are not destroyed since they have underground stems and buds.
Even after fires, prairie shrubs quickly resprout.
Many of the roots of prairie grasses reach deep into the soil, absorbing as much moisture as they can.
Prairie grasses lose less water due to their narrow leaves.
The soft stems of the grasses allow the grasses to bend in the wind.
wind pollination is common to the grasslands due to exposure to windy conditions.
The root systems of the plants prevent animals from pulling the roots out from the ground. Purple needle grass Foxtail Rye Grass Wild Oats Asters Blazing Stars Goldenrods Wild Indigo 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 pampas of South America, the steppes of Eurasia, and the plains of North America.
South America-climate is humid and moist. Get more precipitation than those in the northern hemisphere, and the grass tends to be the tall-grass variety.
Eurasia-very cold and dry climate because there is no nearby ocean to get moisture from. Winds from the arctic aren't blocked by any mountains either
North America-Summer temperatures can be 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while winter temperatures can be -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Between 10-35 inches of precipitation a year. Length of the grass decreases as it approaches the Rocky Mountains. Black Tailed Prairie Dog
(herbivore) Diet- Roots, leaves, and grass.
Adaptations- They do not generally drink water, as they get an abundance of water from their diet. This is important because grasslands are typically very dry places.
They have also adapted by living in ‘towns’ to protect against predators. Bison
-have broad, flat-topped teeth and digestive systems especially adapted to feed on grasses.
-have thick coats of fur to protect against the cold winter months. Coyote
-have fur that allows them to blend in with their environment and have a wide ranging diet that allows them to eat almost anything. Sharp Tailed Grouse
(herbivore) -have brown feathers with white and dark spots which help to camouflage them within the light colored grasses. Tympanuchus phasianellus
Family: Phasianidae Badger
-has “shovel-like” hind claws, well suited for digging. This adaptation helps in the pursuit of prey, allowing the badger to invade the den of burrowing prey.
-have dark coloring to camouflage them, and thick fur used for surviving all seasons. References Bird Web
Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation
Biology of Plants
American Prairie Reserve
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=napu4 Food Web Fox (omnivore) Red-Tailed Hawk (carnivore) Coyote (omnivore)
Vole (omnivore) Deer (herbivore)
Grass (producer) nassella pulchra Setaria viridis avena fatua Lolium multiflorum Liatris pycnostachya Baptisia australis Solidago Symphyotrichum patens