Grassland or savannas are land which are covered with grasses weather high or short
grasses. It occurs where the annual rainfall is low and vegetation consists of majority of grasses
with shrubs and trees. Climber and epiphytes are absent.
Distinctive features of the grassland
- Low rainfall
- Dry and hot environment
iii. Long dry season
- Populated by larger animals like giraffe, antelope, hyena, lion, leopard and zebra.
Animal Adaptations in Grassland
- Nutrient adaptation as most animals feed on grass or grass past
- Fast moving large herbivores like zebra with good eye sight
iii. Fast moving large herbivore can also detect predator and run in an open habitat
- The animals are tree to run with any hindrance.
Plant Adaptation in Grassland
- Most plant set and disperse their fruits in the dry season because they are adapted to wind pollination
- Possession of waxy surface and hairy leaves by plant reduce transportation this unable the plant to survive dry wind.
iii. Leaves are shed by the trees in the dry season to conserve water
- Possession of bark insulate the trees from fire damage
- Several plants possess underground stem that are adapted to seasonal drought
- Many plants have deep penetrating roots to search for water.
These are habitat that is associated with dryness or aridity. They are dried habitats. It is
- Tropical desert
- Warm temperate desert
iii. Cold desert (Tundra)
Features of a tropical desert
- It is characterized with a temperature range of 27 0 C to 35 0 C in the summer and
15 0 C in the winter
- It has a very hot and cold night due to absence of clouds
iii. It has absolutely low rainfall
- Wind erosion occurs due to soil dryness
Features of cold desert (Tundra)
- It is characterized with long days of a short summer period with temperature of
about 10 0 C
- It characterized with muddy water logged soil
iii. Very cold, long dark winter that freeze lakes and rivers and hardened the
ground soil due to the freezing of the soil moisture.
- Annual rainfall is about 250mm
Sahara Desert (Hot)
(i) Mean annual rainfall is less than 100mm
(ii) It has extreme dryness, winds, high temperature during the day and cold, night.
(iii) Poor, sparse vegetation, plant are mostly ephemeral herbs and succulent e.g.
Plants that are adapted to dry habitats are called Xerophytes and have the following
- It has elongated slender stem, branching root capable of penetrating great
- Possession of water storage tissue in their stem
iii. Possession of adaptive feature as waxy leaf with water proof cuticle, sunken
stomata with air and thick layer over the stem and root.
Adaptive feature of Animal in the Avid Land
(i) Body covering is dry and impermeable is water
(ii) Engage in burrowing during the day and active in the night to avoid the day heat.
(iii) Possession of excretory system to reabsorb water efficiently.
(iv) Possession of membranes that reduces water loss with exhale air.
(v) Possession of fringed feet and toes that enhance walking on loose sand.
(vi ) Possession of sandy coloured body to aid camouflage and remain undetected
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