Grasslands are mainly of two kinds.
TROPICAL GRASSLANDS Tall grasses form the domi
nant plant life in these regions, but trees are common, especially where the region merges with equatorial forest and climate is humid. The grasses are deciduous; the leaves die in the dry season but roots remain dormant. The trees are also deciduous. Where the grasslands merge with hot deserts, continuous vegetation cover gives way to clumps of scrub-like plants. (Mallee are eucalyptus bushes in a thicket of coarse grass, and mulga are clumps of acacia in coarse grass; ‘these characterise this type of vegetation in Australia.)
Location Located mainly in the continental areas of tropical latitudes where rains fall during the hot season which lasts for about 5 months: north and south of Zaire Basin, West Africa and East African Plateau, parts of Brazil, Guiana highland~, north and east of the Australian desert, the parts of the Deccan plateau in India. Tropical grasslands have different names according to their location; Campos (Brazil), Llanos (Guiana highlands), Savanna (Africa and Australia).
Examples of vegetation Acacia, boabab and bottle trees which store water in their swollen trunks, and elephant grass.
TEMPERATE GRASSLAND These grasslands are almost treeless-thus contrasting with the tropical grasslands. Location In the continental interiors of temperate latitudes, e.g., the hearts of Asia and North America, where they are well developed, but occur less extensively in Africa, South America and Australia. The names for the grassland vary from region to region: steppe (Eurasia), prairie (North America), pampas (Argentina), veldt (South Afric;a), and downs (Australia). Tall nutritious grasses are typical of the black earth region of the Ukraine and the more moist parts of American prairies (now mainly under wheat).
The Asian steppes have shorter, tougher and less nutritious grasses. On the poleward side, the temperate grasslands merge with the coniferous forests while on the equator side they merge with scrub of semi-deserts. In temperate grasslands, the leaves of the grasses wither in cold season and grow afresh when the rains come.