Related topics: climate change

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 ...

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" ...

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 ...

North American birds not fully adjusting to changing climate

Climate change poses a number of challenges to plants and animals. For example, as the climate changes, appropriate climatic conditions for many species are changing, and some may disappear altogether. This can become even ...

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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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