We explain what a meadow is, the types of meadow there are and their various climates. In addition, how is the flora and fauna that it has.
What is a meadow?
A meadow is a set of meadows that are, according to the climatic conditions of this biome , between a desert climate and a forested one since in the meadows the precipitations are not scarce as in the desert climate but it does have more vegetation than this.
The meadows are open and flat lands that are located in the central part of several continents . In some cases, the same meadow extends to a coastal area, leading to a sea or ocean .
The meadow is one of the most exploited areas and modified by the action of man for economic benefit by planting corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, among many other crops.
This biome has different names depending on where it is located: in the United States they are called ” prairies “; in South America it is called ” pampa “; in the central area of Eurasia they receive in the name of “ steppes ” and in Africa it is called “ savannah ”. Despite their name, they all share a characteristic that turns them into grasslands: grass is its most abundant vegetation .
Finally, it is important to note that about a quarter of the Earth’s surface presents this prairie biome.
Types of meadows
Within the classification of this biome, it is possible to differentiate two types of grasslands; Tropical meadows and temperate meadows.
- Tropical meadows These, although they are warm throughout the year, have a dry and a wet season. Its vegetation is usually more abundant, reaching some herbs even several meters high.
- Temperate meadows It presents rainfall between 25 and 75 MM annually, less than in the case of tropical grasslands. Also their pastures or grasses do not reach great height and these only measure a few centimeters. This type of grassland can be found in North America, in Argentina and in Africa.
In the meadows there are two types of climates ; one winter and one summer. The weather in summer is around 21º , while in winter it can reach 11.5º on average.
It is important, in order to determine the average climate of the meadow, to observe, in which area it is located since there are grasslands on all continents and, consequently, those that are closer to the equator will have more temperatures higher than those found in areas closer to the poles.
Prairie animals are usually mostly birds and herbivorous animals . In South America, rodents, vizcachas, hares, cuises, maras, armadillos inhabit hairy, mulitas, weasels, foxes and lizards.
As for the birds you can find rheas, owls, ducks, martinets, chajáes, chimangos, teros and caranchos.
The birds that inhabit the meadows of South America are the horneros, cardinals, benteveos, calenders, earwigs and hummingbirds.
A distinctive feature of the birds that live in the grasslands is that, in the absence of trees, they must feed on the soil . For this reason, they have a brown or green coloration that helps them to go unnoticed and not be easy prey for other animals.
There are some predatory animals in the prairies but due to the intervention of man they are in danger of extinction. Some of these species are the puma and the deer of the pampas. In North America, the animals that can be found are the American badger, bison, striped skunk and coyote, while in Asia the saiga antelope is found.
In relation to the flora of the meadow, although this is not very abundant in variety of species , it is abundant in quantity.
Thus, in a meadow you can see juncales, grasses and grasslands. Their height will depend on the type of meadow: tropical or temperate.
In the temperate meadows there are about 50 species of plants , while in the tropical meadow there can be up to 200 species of plants.