Monday, 15 August 2016

Viki Sangre

Temperate Grasslands of the World | Conservation and Management

Grassland flourishes in temperate regions of the world. They are the ‘Prairles' of North America, 'Steppes' in the European region, 'Pampas' in Argentina, ‘Veldt' in South Africa and the ‘Puszta‘ in Hungary.

The vegetation is dominated by grasses, legumes, and composites. In the region of high rainfall, grasses grow to about 2 meters in height. In drier region the grasses are short. The Spanish steppes represent the last significant area of 'steppe' in European council.

The vegetation is represented by a mixture of uncultivated scrub cereal fields, legume fields, grass, pasture stubble, plowed earth, it's a high proportion of bare ground.


Temperate grassland climate, soil, and vegetation

The climate, soils, and vegetation vary widely. Dry areas have dry shrub steppes which are used for livestock grazing. In a less arid area, grassland is used as pasture and dry cereals are cultivated in rotation with fallows. The vegetation is largely a mixture of uncultivated scrub and rough pasture and unirrigated arable fields.

Most common cultivated crops are wheat, barley, oats alfalfa, Chickpea, beans, sunflower, sugarbeets, lentils. Traditional land use of steppes is a mixture of livestock (sheep rearing) and dry cereal farming.


Interesting facts about grasslands

The Prairies of North America produce a huge area of temperate grassland. Within the area, there are regional differences in height of grasses and the soil. However, all prairies grassland consists of a continuous layer of mat forming and tussocky grasses.

Decreased rainfall promotes the growth of a range of different grassland communities. Short grass prairie occurs on chernozem soil (Dark brown humus soil rich in organic content). Grazing of short-prairies grasses is common by animals that produce dairy products, leather, and meat.

Poor land management, including overgrazing and severe drought have led to the removal of the protective grassland mat and a network of water retaining roots and thus exposure of top soil. In 1930's during the era of the American Depression, several families left the area of Colorado. Oklahoma and New Mexico due to topsoil exposure and bareness.

Grassland of Savanna type ecosystem has developed in many regions of India, particularly on the Western Ghats and the west of Eastern Ghats due to the clearing of forests and other destructive human activities.

East of western Ghats has low rainfall and the flora is dominated by grasses with species like Heteropogon, Cymbopogon species.

The Steppes, Prairies, and other grasslands can be conserved taking the following measures.


1) Agricultural intensification and Irrigation should be minimized as to conserve:

(a) semi-natural grasslands.
(b) mosaic of vegetation and species diversity.

2) Stop rural depopulation and land abandonment to prevent loss of diversity of vegetation and soil erosion.

Massive afforestation program by planting trees like Poplar, Eucalyptus to check soil erosion is to be discouraged since it disturbs the natural landscape.) Discourage concentration of land holdings from scattered into the large single unit. It destroys open steppe habitat.