'Space ball' drops on Namibia

A large metallic ball fell out of the sky on a remote grassland in Namibia, prompting baffled authorities to contact NASA and the European space agency.

Grasslands more reliable carbon sink than trees

Forests have long served as a critical carbon sink, consuming about a quarter of the carbon dioxide pollution produced by humans worldwide. But decades of fire suppression, warming temperatures and drought have increased ...

Tree-planting world record set in Philippines

Philippine environmentalists have set a world record for the most trees planted simultaneously, kickstarting an enormous reforesteration programme, organisers said Thursday.

Why the leopard got its spots

Why do leopards have rosette shaped markings but tigers have stripes? Rudyard Kipling suggested that it was because the leopard moved to an environment "full of trees and bushes and stripy, speckly, patchy-blatchy shadows" ...

Forest and savanna can switch quickly

(PhysOrg.com) -- Two recent studies have found that environmental changes can bring previously stable forests and grasslands to tipping points that produce sudden large-scale and sometimes irreversible changes in which forest ...

Megafaunal extinctions driven by too much moisture

Studies of bones from Ice Age megafaunal animals across Eurasia and the Americas have revealed that major increases in environmental moisture occurred just before many species suddenly became extinct around 11-15,000 years ...

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Grassland

Grasslands are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses (Poaceae) and other herbaceous (non-woody) plants (forbs). However, sedge (Cyperaceae) and rush (Juncaceae) families can also be found. Grasslands occur naturally on all continents except Antarctica. In temperate latitudes, such as northwestern Europe and the Great Plains and California in North America, native grasslands are dominated by perennial bunch grass species, whereas in warmer climates annual species form a greater component of the vegetation.

Grasslands are found in most ecoregion of the Earth. For example there are five terrestrial ecoregion classifications (subdivisions) of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome ('ecosystem'), which is one of eight terrestrial ecozones of the Earth's surface.

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