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Throughout the world, grasslands are known by many different names. In North America they are known as "prairie", in Asia "steppe", in South America the "pampas" and in South Africa a "veldt".
This biome is a highly seasonal environment of temperate regions. Grasslands stretch basically thousands of miles primarily in the continents of North America and Asia. A limited area of grasslands lies across southern South America. Its hot summers cause the flora to be baked into a nice crisp golden brown, and in the winter the land freezes over and is carved by powerful winds that are able to gather terrific speed because of the vast open area grasslands provide.
The seasonal changes always have helped maintain this biome. However not just the seasonal changes can keep this biome in check. Wildfires help maintain this biome.
Rainfall in the grasslands is somewhere between the amount of precipitation temperate forests and deserts receive. However, the amount of rain is not sufficient enough to support clusters of trees. Regions where more rainfall falls than another area results in taller grasses that can reach impressive heights. These grasses dominate the vegetation in this biome. Besides the grasses that grow here, wildflowers every spring provide a beautiful display of color. Arriving when this biome's rainy season comes, wildflowers help transform the land from a dreary solid brown into a green rainbow-filled landscape.
Wildfires play a very important role. They allow the grasslands to be open and free of trees and shrubs. Any seedling of a tree that appears is killed off by the intense heat. If the fire does not clear out the seedlings, the grasslands would become a shrubland changing forever. Remarkably, the plants in the grasslands have adapted to the wildfires that come through, and actually need them to keep healthy and grow new vegetation in the spring. Not only do wildfires reduce the growth in this area but so do grazers such as, bison, deer, and horses.
The Grasslands soil is usually deep, dark, and rich, called mollisols, in drier regions it is called aridisols. Because a lot of its soil is very rich, a lot of the grasslands have been destroyed and most of it disturbed, due to farming. Grasslands are now major regions for growing crops, like wheat, corn, and other grains.
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