Savanna

Savanna

Overview

A savanna, or savannah, is a grassland
Grassland
Grasslands are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses and other herbaceous plants . However, sedge and rush families can also be found. Grasslands occur naturally on all continents except Antarctica...

 ecosystem
Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

 characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or widely spaced so that the canopy
Canopy (forest)
In biology, the canopy is the aboveground portion of a plant community or crop, formed by plant crowns.For forests, canopy also refers to the upper layer or habitat zone, formed by mature tree crowns and including other biological organisms .Sometimes the term canopy is used to refer to the extent...

 does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous
Herbaceous
A herbaceous plant is a plant that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground...

 layer consisting primarily of C4
C4 carbon fixation
C4 carbon fixation is one of three biochemical mechanisms, along with and CAM photosynthesis, used in carbon fixation. It is named for the 4-carbon molecule present in the first product of carbon fixation in these plants, in contrast to the 3-carbon molecule products in plants. fixation is an...

 grass
Grass
Grasses, or more technically graminoids, are monocotyledonous, usually herbaceous plants with narrow leaves growing from the base. They include the "true grasses", of the Poaceae family, as well as the sedges and the rushes . The true grasses include cereals, bamboo and the grasses of lawns ...

es.
Some classification systems also recognize a grassland savanna from which trees are absent. This article deals only with savanna under the common definition of a grassy woodland with a significant woody plant component.

It is often believed that savannas feature widely spaced, scattered trees.
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Encyclopedia

A savanna, or savannah, is a grassland
Grassland
Grasslands are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses and other herbaceous plants . However, sedge and rush families can also be found. Grasslands occur naturally on all continents except Antarctica...

 ecosystem
Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

 characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or widely spaced so that the canopy
Canopy (forest)
In biology, the canopy is the aboveground portion of a plant community or crop, formed by plant crowns.For forests, canopy also refers to the upper layer or habitat zone, formed by mature tree crowns and including other biological organisms .Sometimes the term canopy is used to refer to the extent...

 does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous
Herbaceous
A herbaceous plant is a plant that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground...

 layer consisting primarily of C4
C4 carbon fixation
C4 carbon fixation is one of three biochemical mechanisms, along with and CAM photosynthesis, used in carbon fixation. It is named for the 4-carbon molecule present in the first product of carbon fixation in these plants, in contrast to the 3-carbon molecule products in plants. fixation is an...

 grass
Grass
Grasses, or more technically graminoids, are monocotyledonous, usually herbaceous plants with narrow leaves growing from the base. They include the "true grasses", of the Poaceae family, as well as the sedges and the rushes . The true grasses include cereals, bamboo and the grasses of lawns ...

es.
Some classification systems also recognize a grassland savanna from which trees are absent. This article deals only with savanna under the common definition of a grassy woodland with a significant woody plant component.

It is often believed that savannas feature widely spaced, scattered trees. However, in many savannas, tree densities are higher and trees are more regularly spaced than in forest. Savannas are also characterized by seasonal water availability, with the majority of rainfall confined to one season. Savannas are associated with several types of biome
Biome
Biomes are climatically and geographically defined as similar climatic conditions on the Earth, such as communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms, and are often referred to as ecosystems. Some parts of the earth have more or less the same kind of abiotic and biotic factors spread over a...

s. Savannas are frequently in a transitional zone between forest
Forest
A forest, also referred to as a wood or the woods, is an area with a high density of trees. As with cities, depending where you are in the world, what is considered a forest may vary significantly in size and have various classification according to how and what of the forest is composed...

 and desert
Desert
A desert is a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation, less than enough to support growth of most plants. Most deserts have an average annual precipitation of less than...

 or prairie
Prairie
Prairies are considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type...

. Savanna covers approximately 20% of the Earth's
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

 land area. The largest area of savanna is in Africa.

Etymology



Although the term savanna is believed to have originally come from an Arawak
Arawakan languages
Macro-Arawakan is a proposed language family of South America and the Caribbean based on the Arawakan languages. Sometimes the proposal is called Arawakan, in which case the central family is called Maipurean....

 word describing "land which is without trees but with much grass
Grass
Grasses, or more technically graminoids, are monocotyledonous, usually herbaceous plants with narrow leaves growing from the base. They include the "true grasses", of the Poaceae family, as well as the sedges and the rushes . The true grasses include cereals, bamboo and the grasses of lawns ...

 either tall or short" (Oviedo y Valdes, 1535), by the late 1800s it was used to mean "land with both grass and trees". It now refers to land with grass and either scattered trees or an open canopy
Canopy (forest)
In biology, the canopy is the aboveground portion of a plant community or crop, formed by plant crowns.For forests, canopy also refers to the upper layer or habitat zone, formed by mature tree crowns and including other biological organisms .Sometimes the term canopy is used to refer to the extent...

 of trees.

Spanish explorers familiar with the term "sabana" called the grasslands they found around the Orinoco River "llanos
Llanos
The Llanos is a vast tropical grassland plain situated to the east of the Andes in Colombia and Venezuela, in northwestern South America. It is an ecoregion of the Flooded grasslands and savannas Biome....

", as well as calling Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

n and Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

n grasslands by that specific term. "Cerrado
Cerrado
The Cerrado, is a vast tropical savanna ecoregion of Brazil, particularly in the states of Gioas and Minas Gerais...

" was used on the higher savannas of the Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

ian Central Plateau
Brazilian Highlands
The Brazilian Highlands or Brazilian Plateau are an extensive geographical region, covering most of the eastern, southern and central portions of Brazil, in all approximately half of the country's land area, or some 4,500,000 km²...

.

Distribution


Many grassy landscapes and mixed communities of trees, shrubs, and grasses were described as savanna before the middle of the 19th century, when the concept of a tropical savanna climate became established. The Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 system was strongly influenced by effects of temperature and precipitation upon tree growth, and his over-simplified assumptions resulted in a tropical savanna classification concept which resulted in it being considered as a "climatic climax" formation. The common usage meaning to describe vegetation now conflicts with a simplified yet widespread climatic concept meaning. The divergence has sometimes caused areas such as extensive savannas north and south of the Congo
Congo River
The Congo River is a river in Africa, and is the deepest river in the world, with measured depths in excess of . It is the second largest river in the world by volume of water discharged, though it has only one-fifth the volume of the world's largest river, the Amazon...

 and Amazon River
Amazon River
The Amazon of South America is the second longest river in the world and by far the largest by waterflow with an average discharge greater than the next seven largest rivers combined...

s to be excluded from mapped savanna categories.

"Barrens" has been used almost interchangeably with savanna in different parts of North America. Sometimes midwestern savanna were described as "grassland with trees". Different authors have defined the lower limits of savanna tree coverage as 5-10% and upper limits range from 25-80% of an area.

Two factors common to all savanna environments are rainfall variations from year to year, and dry season
Dry season
The dry season is a term commonly used when describing the weather in the tropics. The weather in the tropics is dominated by the tropical rain belt, which oscillates from the northern to the southern tropics over the course of the year...

 wildfires
Wildfire
A wildfire is any uncontrolled fire in combustible vegetation that occurs in the countryside or a wilderness area. Other names such as brush fire, bushfire, forest fire, desert fire, grass fire, hill fire, squirrel fire, vegetation fire, veldfire, and wilkjjofire may be used to describe the same...

. Savannas around the world are also dominated by tropical grasses which use the C4
C4 carbon fixation
C4 carbon fixation is one of three biochemical mechanisms, along with and CAM photosynthesis, used in carbon fixation. It is named for the 4-carbon molecule present in the first product of carbon fixation in these plants, in contrast to the 3-carbon molecule products in plants. fixation is an...

 type of photosynthesis
Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis is a chemical process that converts carbon dioxide into organic compounds, especially sugars, using the energy from sunlight. Photosynthesis occurs in plants, algae, and many species of bacteria, but not in archaea. Photosynthetic organisms are called photoautotrophs, since they can...

. In the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

, e.g. in Belize
Belize
Belize is a constitutional monarchy and the northernmost country in Central America. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Even though Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official...

, Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

, savanna vegetation is similar from Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 to South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 and to the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

. In North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 nearby trees are of subtropical types, ranging from southwestern Pinyon pine
Pinyon pine
The pinyon pine group grows in the southwestern United States and in Mexico. The trees yield edible pinyon nuts, which were a staple of the Native Americans, and are still widely eaten...

 to southeastern Longleaf Pine
Longleaf Pine
Pinus palustris, commonly known as the Longleaf Pine, is a pine native to the southeastern United States, found along the coastal plain from eastern Texas to southeast Virginia extending into northern and central Florida....

 and northern chestnut oak.

Changes in fire management


Savannas are subject to regular wildfire
Wildfire
A wildfire is any uncontrolled fire in combustible vegetation that occurs in the countryside or a wilderness area. Other names such as brush fire, bushfire, forest fire, desert fire, grass fire, hill fire, squirrel fire, vegetation fire, veldfire, and wilkjjofire may be used to describe the same...

s and the ecosystem appears to be the result of human use of fire. For example, Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 created the Pre-Columbian savannas of North America
Pre-Columbian savannas of North America
Pre-Columbian savannas once existed across North America. These were created and maintained in a fire ecology by Native Americans until the 16th century death of most natives. Surviving natives continued using fire to clear savanna until European colonists began colonizing the eastern seaboard...

 by periodically burning where fire-resistant plants were the dominant species. Pine barrens
Pine barrens
Pine barrens, pine plains, sand plains, or pinelands occur throughout the northeastern U.S. from New Jersey to Maine as well as the Midwest and Canada....

 in scattered locations from New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 to coastal New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 are remnants of these savannas. Aboriginal burning appears to have been responsible for the widespread occurrence of savanna in tropical Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

, and savannas in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 are a result of human fire use. The maquis
Maquis shrubland
thumb|220px|Low Maquis in Corsica.220px|thumb|High macchia in Sardinia.Maquis or macchia is a shrubland biome in the Mediterranean region, typically consisting of densely growing evergreen shrubs such as holm oak, tree heath, strawberry tree, sage, juniper, buckthorn, spurge olive and myrtle...

 shrub savannas of the Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 region were likewise created and maintained by anthropogenic fire.
These fires are usually confined to the herbaceous layer and do little long term damage to mature trees. However, these fires either kill or suppress tree seedlings, thus preventing the establishment of a continuous tree canopy which would prevent further grass growth. Prior to European settlement aboriginal land use practices, including fire, influenced vegetation and may have maintained and modified savanna flora. It has been suggested by many authors that aboriginal burning created a structurally more open savanna landscape. Aboriginal burning certainly created a habitat mosaic that probably increased biodiversity and changed the structure of woodlands and geographic range of numerous woodland species. It has been suggested by many authors that with the removal or alteration of traditional burning regimes many savannas are being replaced by forest and shrub thickets with little herbaceous layer.

The consumption of herbage by introduced grazers in savanna woodlands has led to a reduction in the amount of fuel available for burning and resulted in fewer and cooler fires. The introduction of exotic pasture legumes has also led to a reduction in the need to burn to produce a flush of green growth because legumes retain high nutrient levels throughout the year, and because fires can have a negative impact on legume populations which causes a reluctance to burn.

Grazing and browsing animals


The closed forests types such as broadleaf forests and rainforests are usually not grazed owing to the closed structure precluding grass growth, and hence offering little opportunity for grazing. In contrast the open structure of savannas allows the growth of a herbaceous layer and are commonly used for grazing domestic livestock. As a result much of the world's savannas have undergone change as a result of grazing by sheep, goats and cattle, ranging from changes in pasture composition to woody weed encroachment.

The removal of grass by grazing affects the woody plant component of woodland systems in two major ways. Grasses compete with woody plants for water in the topsoil and removal by grazing reduces this competitive effect, potentially boosting tree growth. In addition to this effect the removal of fuel reduces both the intensity and the frequency of fires which may control woody plant species. Grazing animals can have a more direct effect on woody plants by the browsing of palatable woody species. There is evidence that unpalatable woody plants have increased under grazing in savannas. Grazing also promotes the spread of weeds in savannas by the removal or reduction of the plants which would normally compete with potential weeds and hinder establishment. In addition to this, cattle and horses are implicated in the spread of the seeds of weed species such as Prickly Acacia (Acacia nilotica) and Stylo (Stylosanthes spp.). Alterations in savanna species composition brought about by grazing can alter ecosystem function, and are exacerbated by overgrazing and poor land management practices.

Introduced grazing animals can also affect soil condition through physical compaction and break-up of the soil caused by the hooves of animals and through the erosion effects caused by the removal of protective plant cover. Such effects are most likely to occur on land subjected to repeated and heavy grazing. The effects of overstocking are often worst on soils of low fertility and in low rainfall areas below 500 mm, as most soil nutrients in these areas tend to be concentrated in the surface so any movement of soils can lead to severe degradation. Alteration in soil structure and nutrient levels affects the establishment, growth and survival of plant species and in turn can lead to a change in woodland structure and composition.

Tree clearing


Large areas of savanna have been cleared of trees, and this clearing is continuing today. For example until recently 480,000 ha
Hectare
The hectare is a metric unit of area defined as 10,000 square metres , and primarily used in the measurement of land. In 1795, when the metric system was introduced, the are was defined as being 100 square metres and the hectare was thus 100 ares or 1/100 km2...

 of savanna were cleared annually in Australia alone primarily to improve pasture production. Substantial savanna areas have been cleared of woody vegetation and much of the area that remains today is vegetation that has been disturbed by either clearing or thinning at some point in the past.

Clearing is carried out by the grazing industry in an attempt to increase the quality and quantity of feed available for stock and to improve the management of livestock. The removal of trees from savanna land removes the competition for water from the grasses present, and can lead to a two to fourfold increase in pasture production, as well as improving the quality of the feed available. Since stock carrying capacity is strongly correlated with herbage yield there can be major financial benefits from the removal of trees. The removal of trees also assists grazing management. For example in sheep grazing regions of dense tree and shrub cover harbours predators, leading to increased stock losses while woody plant cover hinders mustering in both sheep and cattle areas.

A number of techniques have been employed to clear or kill woody plants in savannas. Early pastoralists used felling and girdling
Girdling
Girdling, also called ring barking or ring-barking, is the complete removal of a strip of bark from around the entire circumference of either a branch or trunk of a woody plant. Girdling results in the death of wood tissues beyond the damage...

, the removal of a ring of bark
Bark
Bark is the outermost layers of stems and roots of woody plants. Plants with bark include trees, woody vines and shrubs. Bark refers to all the tissues outside of the vascular cambium and is a nontechnical term. It overlays the wood and consists of the inner bark and the outer bark. The inner...

 and sapwood, as a means of clearing land. In the 1950s arboricides suitable for stem injection were developed. War-surplus heavy machinery was made available, and these were used for either pushing timber, or for pulling using a chain and ball strung between two machines. These two new methods of timber control, along with the introduction and widespread adoption of several new pasture grasses and legumes promoted a resurgence in tree clearing. The 1980s also saw the release of soil-applied arboricides, notably tebuthiuron
Tebuthiuron
Tebuthiuron is a nonselective broad spectrum herbicide of the urea class. It is used in a number of herbicides manufactured by Dow AgroSciences, and is sold under several trade names, depending on the formulation. It is used to control weeds, woody and herbaceous plants, and sugar cane...

, that could be utilised without cutting and injecting each individual tree.

In many ways "artificial" clearing, particularly pulling, mimics the effects of fire and, in savannas adapted to regeneration after fire as most Queensland savannas are, there is a similar response to that after fire. Tree clearing in many savanna communities, although causing a dramatic reduction in basal area and canopy cover, often leaves a high percentage of woody plants alive either as seedlings too small to be affected or as plants capable of re-sprouting from lignotubers and broken stumps. A population of woody plants equal to half or more of the original number often remains following pulling of eucalypt communities, even if all the trees over 5 metres are uprooted completely.

Exotic plant species


A number of exotic plants species have been introduced to the savannas around the world. Amongst the woody plant species are serious environmental weeds such as Prickly Acacia (Acacia nilotica
Acacia nilotica
Acacia nilotica is a species of Acacia native to Africa and the Indian subcontinent...

), Rubbervine (Cryptostegia grandiflora), Mesquite (Prosopis
Prosopis
Prosopis is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae. It contains around 45 species of spiny trees and shrubs found in subtropical and tropical regions of the Americas, Africa, Western Asia, and South Asia. They often thrive in arid soil and are resistant to drought, on occasion...

spp.), Lantana (Lantana camara
Lantana camara
Lantana camara, also known as Spanish Flag or West Indian Lantana, is a species of flowering plant in the verbena family, Verbenaceae, that is native to the American tropics. It has been introduced into other parts of the world as an ornamental plant and is considered an invasive species in many...

and L. montevidensis
Lantana montevidensis
Lantana montevidensis is a species of lantana known by many common names, such as: trailing lantana, weeping lantana, creeping lantana, small lantana, purple lantana or trailing shrubverbena....

) and Prickly Pear (Opuntia
Opuntia
Opuntia, also known as nopales or paddle cactus , is a genus in the cactus family, Cactaceae.Currently, only prickly pears are included in this genus of about 200 species distributed throughout most of the Americas. Chollas are now separated into the genus Cylindropuntia, which some still consider...

spp.) A range of herbaceous species have also been introduced to these woodlands, either deliberately or accidentally including Rhodes grass and other Chloris
Chloris (plant)
Chloris is a genus of grasses which are known generally as windmill grass or finger grass.These grasses are found worldwide, but especially in the tropical and subtropical regions, and more often in the Southern Hemisphere...

species, Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris), Giant rat's tail grass (Sporobolus pyramidalis) parthenium
Parthenium
Parthenium is a genus of flowering plants in the aster family, Asteraceae. The name is derived from either the Greek word παρθένος , meaning "virgin," or παρθένιον , an ancient name for a plant. Members of the genus are commonly known as feverfew. Notable species include Guayule and P...

 (Parthenium hysteropherus) and stylos (Stylosanthes
Stylosanthes
Stylosanthes is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family, Fabaceae. It belongs to the sub family Faboideae....

spp.) and other legumes. These introductions have the potential to significantly alter the structure and composition of savannas worldwide, and have already done so in many areas through a number of processes including altering the fire regime, increasing grazing pressure, competing with native vegetation and occupying previously vacant ecological niches.
Other plant species include: white sage, spotted cactus, cotton seed, rosemary.

Climate change


There exists the possibility that human induced climate change in the form of the greenhouse effect may result in an alteration of the structure and function of savannas. Some authors have suggested that savannas and grasslands may become even more susceptible to woody plant encroachment as a result of greenhouse induced climate change. However, a recent case described a savanna increasing its range at the expense of forest in response to climate variation, and potential exists for similar rapid, dramatic shifts in vegetation distribution as a result of global climate change, particularly at ecotones such as savannas so often represent.

Savanna ecoregions


Savanna ecoregions are of several different types:
  • Tropical and subtropical savannas are classified with tropical and subtropical grasslands and shrublands as the tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands
    Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands
    Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands are a grassland terrestrial biome located in semi-arid to semi-humid climate regions of subtropical and tropical latitudes. Grasslands are dominated by grass and other herbaceous plants. Savannas are grasslands with scattered trees...

     biome. The savannas of Africa, including the Serengeti
    Serengeti
    The Serengeti ecosystem is a geographical region in Africa. It is located in north Tanzania and extends to south-western Kenya between latitudes 1 and 3 S and longitudes 34 and 36 E. It spans some ....

    , famous for its wildlife, are typical of this type.
  • Temperate savannas are mid-latitude savannas with wetter summers and drier winters. They are classified with temperate savannas and shrublands as the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands
    Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands
    Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands is a terrestrial biome whose predominant vegetation consists of grasses and/or shrubs. The climate is temperate and semi-arid to semi-humid....

     biome, that for example cover much of the Great Plains
    Great Plains
    The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

     of the United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

    . (See areas such as the Central forest-grasslands transition
    Central forest-grasslands transition
    The Central forest-grasslands transition are a prairie ecoregion of the central United States, part of the North American Great Plains.-Setting:...

    ).
  • Mediterranean savannas are mid-latitude savannas in Mediterranean climate
    Mediterranean climate
    A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

     regions, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, part of the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub
    Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub
    Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome, defined by the World Wildlife Fund, characterized by dry summers and rainy winters. Summers are typically hot in low-lying inland locations but can be cool near some seas, as near San Francisco, which have a sea of cool waters...

     biome. The oak tree
    Oak Tree
    Oak Tree may refer to:*Oak, the tree*Oak Tree, County Durham, a village in County Durham, England*The Oaktree Foundation, a youth-run aid and development agency*Oak Tree National, golf club in Edmond, Oklahoma...

     savannas of California
    California
    California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

    , part of the California chaparral and woodlands
    California chaparral and woodlands
    The California chaparral and woodlands is a terrestrial ecoregion of lower northern, central, and southern California and northwestern Baja California , located on the west coast of North America...

     ecoregion, fall into this category.
  • Flooded savannas are savannas that are flooded seasonally or year-round. They are classified with flooded savannas as the flooded grasslands and savannas
    Flooded grasslands and savannas
    Flooded grasslands and savannas is a terrestrial biome. Its component ecoregions are generally located at subtropical and tropical latitudes, which are flooded seasonally or year-round...

     biome, which occurs mostly in the tropics and subtropics.
  • Montane
    Montane
    In biogeography, montane is the highland area located below the subalpine zone. Montane regions generally have cooler temperatures and often have higher rainfall than the adjacent lowland regions, and are frequently home to distinct communities of plants and animals.The term "montane" means "of the...

     savannas
    are high-altitude savannas, located in a few spots around the world's high mountain regions, part of the montane grasslands and shrublands
    Montane grasslands and shrublands
    Montane grasslands and shrublands is a biome defined by the World Wildlife Fund. The biome includes high altitude grasslands and shrublands around the world....

     biome. The highland savannas of the Angolan Scarp savanna and woodlands
    Angolan Scarp savanna and woodlands
    The Angolan Scarp savanna and woodlands is an ecoregion is located on the coast of Angola, an area with a variety of habitats and rich in wildlife including many endemic birds and animals.-Location and description:...

     ecoregion are an example.

See also

  • Cerrado‎
  • Coastal plain
    Coastal plain
    A coastal plain is an area of flat, low-lying land adjacent to a seacoast and separated from the interior by other features. One of the world's longest coastal plains is located in eastern South America. The southwestern coastal plain of North America is notable for its species diversity...

  • Coastal prairie
    Coastal prairie
    Coastal prairie may refer to either:* The California coastal prairie, a plant community found along the coasts of California and Oregon* The Western Gulf coastal grasslands of Louisiana, Texas, and Tamaulipas...

  • Field
    Field (agriculture)
    In agriculture, the word field refers generally to an area of land enclosed or otherwise and used for agricultural purposes such as:* Cultivating crops* Usage as a paddock or, generally, an enclosure of livestock...

  • Flood-meadow
    Flood-meadow
    A flood-meadow is an area of grassland or pasture beside a river, subject to seasonal flooding. Flood-meadows are distinct from water-meadows in that the latter are artificially created and maintained, with flooding controlled on a seasonal and even daily basis.- Examples :* Angel & Greyhound...

  • Flooded grasslands and savannas
    Flooded grasslands and savannas
    Flooded grasslands and savannas is a terrestrial biome. Its component ecoregions are generally located at subtropical and tropical latitudes, which are flooded seasonally or year-round...

  • Grassland
    Grassland
    Grasslands are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses and other herbaceous plants . However, sedge and rush families can also be found. Grasslands occur naturally on all continents except Antarctica...

  • Meadow
    Meadow
    A meadow is a field vegetated primarily by grass and other non-woody plants . The term is from Old English mædwe. In agriculture a meadow is grassland which is not grazed by domestic livestock but rather allowed to grow unchecked in order to make hay...

  • Oak savanna
    Oak savanna
    An oak savanna is a type of savanna, or lightly forested grassland, where oaks are the dominant tree species. These savannas were maintained historically through wildfires set by lightning, grazing, low precipitation, poor soil, and/or fires set by Native Americans...

  • Pampas
  • Pasture
    Pasture
    Pasture is land used for grazing. Pasture lands in the narrow sense are enclosed tracts of farmland, grazed by domesticated livestock, such as horses, cattle, sheep or swine. The vegetation of tended pasture, forage, consists mainly of grasses, with an interspersion of legumes and other forbs...

  • Plain
    Plain
    In geography, a plain is land with relatively low relief, that is flat or gently rolling. Prairies and steppes are types of plains, and the archetype for a plain is often thought of as a grassland, but plains in their natural state may also be covered in shrublands, woodland and forest, or...

  • Prairie
    Prairie
    Prairies are considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type...

  • Rangeland
    Rangeland
    Rangelands are vast natural landscapes in the form of grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, wetlands, and deserts. Types of rangelands include tallgrass and shortgrass prairies, desert grasslands and shrublands, woodlands, savannas, chaparrals, steppes, and tundras...

  • Steppe
    Steppe
    In physical geography, steppe is an ecoregion, in the montane grasslands and shrublands and temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biomes, characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes...

  • Veld
    Veld
    The term Veld refers primarily to the wide open rural spaces of South Africa or southern Africa and in particular to certain flatter areas or districts covered in grass or low scrub...

  • Water-meadow
    Water-meadow
    A water-meadow is an area of grassland subject to controlled irrigation to increase agricultural productivity. Water-meadows were mainly used in Europe from the 16th to the early 20th centuries...

  • Wet meadow
    Wet meadow
    A wet meadow is a semi-wetland meadow which is saturated with water throughout much of the year. Wet meadows may occur because of poor drainage or the receipt of large amounts of water from rain or melted snow. They may also occur in riparian zones....


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