Tall and short varieties of grass and some flowering perennials dominate grasslands, including the prairies of North America. Big bluestem grass, blue grama grass, buffalo grass and Indian grass are abundant. Flowering perennials like milkweeds, goldenrods, asters, blazing star, sweet coneflower and purple coneflower bloom where rainfall is sufficient. These plants survive cold winters and fires in grasslands by developing underground storage organs and thick stem bases.
Average annual rainfall can support an occasional tree, but drought and grassland fires that sweep through every one to five years prevent the growth of large forests. The tallest prairie grass, big bluestem, or turkey feet, can reach 11 feet tall with a root system 7 feet long. It grows where the climate is wet, while shorter varieties of grass dominate drier areas with hotter summers and colder winters. The deep root systems fortify the plants against strong winds and help keep the soil in place. Grassland plants die back in winter but are kept alive by the robust underground support system made up of roots that can be longer than the plant is tall. Two-thirds of a prairie plant may be hidden underground in a dense tangle of roots, bulbs and stems. Some roots die each year and decompose, adding organic matter to the fertile soil.Learn More
Tapirs live in southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia and Sumatra, and also in the grasslands and forests of Central and South America. The mountain tapir lives in the Andes Mountains of South America.Full Answer >
While cheetahs live throughout Africa, they are the most abundant in the grasslands of East Africa and the desert areas of Namibia, which is a Southwestern country in Africa. Cheetos can also be seen in various zoos and wildlife reservations.Full Answer >
Meerkats are native to South Africa and thrive in grasslands and along desert plains and plateaus. Meerkats do not climb or fly, which makes them perfectly suited for life as burrowing and ground-dwelling mammals. They congregate in groups and make their homes in large underground burrows.Full Answer >
Seeds must be dispersed by plants so that offspring are not forced to compete with parent plants for resources. For gardeners and homeowners, it is important to disperse some seeds, such as grass seeds, uniformly to ensure that the resulting lawn looks even and contains no bare patches. A number of forces disperse seeds, including wind, water, animals and seed-spreading tools.Full Answer >