Desert and Grassland Ecosystems

Desert ecosystems

Desert ecosystems are very wonderful and interesting when looking to near. Desert ecosystems are spread about 20% on earth and that areas in which precipitation is less 50cm in on year. If we see that its types than 4 types of desert ecosystem on earth first is hot desert and dry second is semiarid third is coastal and fourth one is cold desert. All ecosystems are notified by features that all have low level of rain falling. Some of animals and plants that survive in this environment are found there. Those deserts which get the exact form of rain are called hot desert and those which have snow as exact form of rain called dry desert.

In below interesting features about desert ecosystem

  • 1/5 area is covered by desert in whole world.
  • In Europe there is not any desert
  • If we see in the world many deserts have the ability that become hot the time of day and become clod when come night.
  • If we talk about North Africa there is a largest desert is found which is largest from all desert ecosystems and its cover the area about 300 million m2.
  • Some animals are those which come from their nest and home in time of night are called nocturnal. All nocturnal animals remain sleep at day time due to at day temperature is very high and come from their homes or nests at night because at that time temperature is low and cooler.

Location in world: Hot desert which are located in Capricorn and cancer topics.

Deserts found on earth 1/5 area cover. if we talk about hot deserts they are found in around tropics of cancer. Some deserts are located in west and some are north. Some deserts become very hot at day and cool at night. Plants and animals which found in those areas have unique adaptation for survival. World largest desert is Sahara which found on earth. And located in North Africa.

Components of Desert Ecosystems

A biotic components: light, moisture, temperature, sand and organic matters.

Biotic components:  there are three types of biotic components which are given below;

Producers, consumers and decomposers.

Producers: Firstly Producers are mainly shrubs, specific are some types of grasses, some tree and bushes are known as producers.

Consumers: Second one is Consumers are includes insects, birds, reptiles, camels and those species that come out from their nest or home at night known as nocturnal are the famous  consumers of desert ecosystems. They hall have ability to survive in this biome.

Decomposers:   Third biotic component is Decomposers if we see in deserts there is very low vegetation and due to this dead material also found in very less amount. In decomposers includes bacteria, fungi and most important is thermopile.

Types of desert ecosystems

There are four types of desert ecosystem which given below:

  • First is hot desert and dry desert
  • Second on is Semiarid desert
  • Third is coastal desert
  • Last is cold desert

Hot desert and dry desert

  • Summer season is too much hot and temperatures very warm most of the months in year.
  • In dry and hot desert environment precipitation is little and some time there is no rain.
  • In winter season there is low level of rain
  • During day time temperature is 23 C and some time it rise 49 C.
  • Plants are very rare in those areas.

Semiarid Desert

These deserts are located in United States northwestern areas. Some are located in North America, Asia and Europe. Semiarid desert have some types which include the Great Basin, Montana and sagebrush. Hemisphere of Northern are those place where semiarid desert are only present in this areas because and that place temperature remain unique most month of the year. In summer if we talk about temperature remains 23 C .In evening temperature become 10C. In summer precipitation has very low level or no precipitation. But in winter some spots of rain fall.  2-4 cm range of rain in year.

Costal Desert

Third is costal desert if we compare all deserts than costal are those deserts which are unique all of desert due to its unique property which is that it found in areas of which move cool to warm. Including Geotropically and Narcotic. These both are no has common identity but very most is Atacama. Atacama is found in South America.

Cold Desert

It is the fourth type of desert like other three types this type also has property by which it is known very well. These deserts are found in Greenland, Antarctic and Nearctic realm. In cold summer if we see the temperature ranges is about 21to 26 degree and in winter temperature remain around about -2 to 4 degree. Cold dessert also known it’s another name snow desert where precipitation range about 15 to 26 cm in a year. The animals which are found in cold deserts are elephant lion’s spiders and antelopes are present.

Animals of Desert ecosystems

Chile, Desert foxes, camel, thorny devil, antelope, death scorpion lizard’s etc. All these animals have adaptation to survive there. Camels store water in his belly for the future use.

 Desert plants

Pancake prickly cactus, pear cactus, mostly known specie of cactus is pancake pear and found and famous areas for this is United states and other area is Mexico after all other forms are Saguaro and Barrel cactus  and Lace  or other name is Hedgehog other types are Brittle bush desert wood and Pipe cactus are  plants do desert ecosystems. All these plants have unique adaptations for their survival.

Precipitation in desert Ecosystems

Definition of desert is that area where level of rain is less about around 10 inch or  area where rain falling is 25 cm in an annually. Most of us think that deserts are those areas where there is no rain or very less level of rain. [1](PDF) DESERT ECOLOGY ( [2]desertecosystem-170219115758.pdf (

Grassland Ecosystems

  • Grassland biomes are those biomes which have identity is dominated by grasses and wood are not found in grassland biomes. Grassland biomes are dominated by small grasses and no one any trees are found. Trees or grass which not enough or not support to form forest biomes.
  • Grassland also known as biomes which have too much water but enough to form for forest.
  • Grassland also known as transitional due to its unique property that is has grass and no one tree and water is too much as compare to desert and support the forest formation. And in world and  areas grassland known by different names such as; if we see in Europe as well as in Asia it is called steppes, in south America known as pampas , if we talk about south Africa it  known as Veldt and Australia called grassland Downs.

Characteristics of grassland ecosystems

  • Grassland biomes cover the 10 percent area of the whole earth
  • And these are located those places which receive the precipitation around 15-75 cm in annually. This rain level not enough for the formation of forest.
  • On the other hand this rain truly support the to form the desert. Productivity of grassland is mostly found in the temperate weather areas.
  • Those ecosystems which receive precipitation from 250 to 750 in one year known as grassland.

Location in World: If we see in world then Eurasian continents center are known for grassland ecosystems. Where large grasslands are found. on other the other hand some other grassland located in the Africa which are savanna, these are speared in west areas and these are remain set by goats cattle and sheep as well as herbivores which known as wild.

Types of Grassland ecosystems

Major two types of grassland ecosystems which are divided due to climate.

  • Prairies grassland also called temperate because it occur in temperate region
  • Savanna grassland also called tropical because it found in tropical areas.

Prairies grassland

Prairies grassland also known as temperate because it located in temperate regions.  Prairies word taken from Latin word that has meaning meadow.

There are some features of Prairies grassland which are given below:

  • It is that area which is smooth , sleeping or land which is known as hilly area
  • .Most of area of Prairies have not trees but those areas which are found near that is not plains, near valleys and located near the river have woodland.
  • Trees which are found in these areas have height 2 m and dominated.

Savanna Grassland

          Some features of savanna grassland are given below:

  • Savanna has tree as well as grasses-Savanna is rounded area and trees and herbs and shrubs are spread everywhere.
  • It has two seasons dry and rainy. These seasons due to the precipitation. In summer season is mostly rainy and if we see in winter the season is dry.
  • In summer seasons rain falling is 15 to 25 inches and in winter 2 inches. Large grow of animals. Many number of animals which grazing on savanna trees and grasses.


About 15 to75 cm rains fall annually. This level of rain not enough for the formation of forest but it too much enough for the formation of desert. Grassland land which are typically and has productivity formation it is located in climate that is temperate. Temperate grassland has grasses and annually rain is 250- 750 mm.

Grassland plants and their adaptations

Mostly grasses are found those areas which are temperate such as June grasses, foxtail, purple needle grasses, ryegrasses, Indian grasses, buffalo grass and big bluestem grass and wild oat. Main plants are grasses and second are grasses types plants.


Important part o grassland is layering. Grasses is divided in three types on the basis on their height.

  • Tall grasses such as Panicum and Andropogon which made first grass layer.
  • Second grass layer is made by oryzopsis, Stipa and sporobolus.
  • And 3rd grass layer is made by mosses, Poa, lichens and Bromus.

Adaptations of grassland plants and grasses

Grasses or plants   which are found in grassland areas have deep and long , leaves which have narrow vegetations and flowers has bright. Plants which are found in grassland commonly are grasses. These grasses found on plants tip or in bases. These categories save them from fires which mostly occur in dry climate.

Grassland Animals and their adaptations

Animals that are found in grassland biomes are lions, elephants, gazelles, bison, tigers such animal which live there. These are large animals. Rabbits, prairie dogs gopher and bird’s snakes and some lizards are common species which are found in grassland.

Adaptations: These animals have the ability to survive themselves in dry season .They adapted by save form danger in shelter and protected places those places which are place for hide. They use alarming calls when they see predators.

Decomposers & producers

Producers that are found in grassland including Trees, grasses mosses, shrubs and lichens in this biomes.

Decomposers that are found algae, insects, fungi and bacteria when plants which are found in this biomes die they provide energy to the decomposers.

Consumers that found are birds’ rabbit’s mice grasshoppers and cows. [3] Ecology_Springer_Reference_series.pdf [4]Grassland Ecosystem | PDF | Grassland | Ecosystem ( [5]Grassland Ecosystems – ScienceDirect

Human impact on grassland ecosystems

  • Grassland biomes are destroyed by human activates which impact grassland badly. They are badly damages because grassland is being used for farming development for cities.
  • Animals which live grassland are badly affected due to using of grassland for human welfare.
  • 25 percent grassland is affected due to the human activities.

Animals like dogs farmers have thought about them that is these dogs are pest which make burrow and injure the cattle due to this these animals endangered. People catching the animals like elephant lions tigers leopards for the purposes to remain zoo and others.

Reviewed by:
Dr. Muhammad Khalid Mukhtar (Ph.D.)
University of Sargodha, Sargodha

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