Grasslands - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 7 pages of information about Grasslands.
This section contains 2,049 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Grasslands Encyclopedia Article

Ecosystems in which grasses and grasslike plants such as sedges and rushes dominate the vegetation are termed grasslands. Grasslands occur on every continent except Antarctica. It is estimated that grasslands once covered as much as 25 to 40 percent of Earth's land surface, but much of this has been plowed and converted to crop production, such as corn, wheat, and soybeans. Prior to the European settlement of North America, the largest continuous grasslands in the United States stretched across the Great Plains from the Rocky Mountains and deserts of the southwestern states to the Mississippi River. Other extensive grasslands are (or were) found in Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa.

Cattle grazing on grasslands in Spain. Cattle grazing on grasslands in Spain.

Grasslands can be broadly categorized as temperate or tropical. Temperate grasslands have cold winters and warm-to-hot summers and often have deep fertile soils. Surprisingly, plant growth in temperate grasslands is often nutrient limited because...


(read more)

This section contains 2,049 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Grasslands Encyclopedia Article
Copyrights
Macmillan
Grasslands from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.