Tropical grasslands are located near the equator, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
- They cover Africa as well as large areas of Australia, South America, and India.
- It is confined to the tropics and is best developed in Sudan, hence its name the Sudan Climate.
- The savanna is a rolling grassland with scattered trees and shrubs.
- Savanna has two distinct seasons in regards to precipitation. There is a rainy season in the summer with around 15 to 25 inches of rain and a dry season in the winter when only a couple of inches of rain may fall.
Flora and fauna
- Tropical grasslands are dominated by grasses, often 6 to 12 feet tall at maturity. The elephant grass may attain a height of even 15 feet.
- Many trees are umbrella shaped, exposing only a narrow edge to the strong winds.
- The grasslands are also called as ‘bush-veld’.
- They have deciduous trees, shedding their leaves in the cool, dry season to prevent excessive loss of water through transpiration, e.g. acacias, the baobab tree, and the jackal berry tree.
- Trees usually have broad trunks, with water-storing devices to survive through the prolonged drought.
- As the rainfall diminishes towards the deserts the savanna merges into the thorny scrub.
- The world’s greatest diversity of ungulates (hoofed mammals) is found on the savannas of Africa.
- The savanna is known as the ‘big game country’ as thousands of animals are trapped or killed each year by people from all over the world.
- These areas are hot year-round, usually at 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Although these areas are overall very dry, they do have a season of heavy rain.
- Annual rainfall is from 20-50 inches per year which is concentrated in six or eight months of the year, followed by a long period of drought.
The soil of tropical grasslands is porous, with rapid drainage of water.
- Droughts are long due to unreliable rainfall.
- The Sudan Climate, with distinct wet-and-dry periods, is also responsible for the rapid deterioration of soil fertility.
- During the rainy season, torrential downpours of heavy rain cause leaching of nitrates, phosphates and potash.
- During the dry season, intense heating and evaporation dry up most of the water.
- Many savanna areas, therefore, have poor laterite soils which are incapable of supporting good crops.
Answer based on above Reading:
Q1. River Mississippi drains:
Q2. Drakensberg Mountains are to the west of:
Q3. Merino is a species of:
Q4. Kimberley is famous for:
Q6. What are the cattle farms in the North America called?
Q7. Name the river that drains the velds?
Ans: The tributaries of rivers Orange and Limpopo