2Temperate GrasslandTemperate grasslands have hot summers and cold winters, while rainfall is moderate.In the summer temperatures can be well over 38 degrees Celsius.In the winter temperatures can be as low as -40 degrees Celsius.The annual amount of rainfall is 10 to 30 inches.
3Animal adaptationsMost temperate grasslands are inhabited by hares, mice, and other small rodents.Smaller rodents defend themselves from predators by living underground or by having camouflaged fur.Most of the larger animals stay in large, intimidating packs, or escape their predators by running.In the winter, rodents store food in their underground tunnels and keep out of the cold or hibernate.Bigger animals survive the winter by growing a thicker coat and scavenging for food.
5ThreatsPoaching, overgrazing and clearing of the land for crops are the main threats.About 16 percent of tropical grasslands have been converted for agriculture or urban development.If global temperatures rise, it is predicted that some current grasslands will become desserts as rainfall patterns change.
6Plant AdaptationDuring a fire, while above-ground portions of grasses may perish, the root portions survive to sprout again.Some prairie trees have thick bark to resist fire.Prairie shrubs readily resprout after fire.Roots of prairie grasses extend deep into the ground to absorb as much moisture as they can.Extensive root systems prevent grazing animals from pulling roots out of the ground.Prairie grasses have narrow leaves which lose less water than broad leaves.Grasses grow from near their base, not from tip, thus are not permanently damaged from grazing animals or fire.Many grasses take advantage of exposed, windy conditions and are wind pollinated.Soft stems enable prairie grasses to bend in the wind.
7Defining FeaturesThere is a grassland biome on every continent except for Antarctica.About one quarter of the land on earth is made up of grasslands.Most of the fertile agricultural land in the US and Canada were originally temperate grasslands.Grasslands supply ¾ of the energy that the world needs