Related topics: climate change

'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.

A fresh look into grasslands as carbon sinks

Grasslands have the capability to store carbon, functioning as an important tool in a battle against climate change. While scientific interest in grassland soil for carbon sequestration is not new, researchers from the Chinese ...

Insect decline more extensive than suspected

Compared to a decade ago, today the number of insect species in many areas has decreased by about one-third. This is the result of a survey of an international research team led by scientists from the Technical University ...

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 ...

Rebound for bird on brink of extinction

A recent survey in northern Victoria uncovered a record number of plains wanderers—small, quail-like birds that live only in eastern Australia grasslands, and represent an ancient lineage of birds that evolved in Gondwana ...

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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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