Grassland ecosystem( terrestrial ecosystem)
The principal grasslands include:
- Prairies (Canada, USA),Pampas (South America),Steppes (Europe & Asia)
- Veldts (Africa).
- The highest abundance & greatest diversity of large mammals are found in these ecosystems.
- The dominant animal species include
- Wild horses, asses & antelope of Eurasia.
Structure and functions of Grassland Ecosystems:
I. Biotic components:
a. Producer Organisms:
- In grassland, producers are mainly grasses; though, a few herbs & shrubs also contribute to primary production of biomass.
- Some of the most common species of grasses are:
- Brach aria sp., Cynodon sp., Desmodium sp., Digit aria sp.
b.Consumers: In grassland, consumers are of three main types.
- The primary consumers are herbivores feeding directly on grasses. These are grazing animals such as ;
- Cows, Buffaloes, Sheep, Goats, Deer, Rabbits etc.
- Besides them, numerous species of insects, termites, etc are also present.
- These are carnivores that feed on primary consumers (Herbivores)
- These include;-Frogs, Snakes, Lizards, Birds, Foxes, Jackals etc.
- Tertiary Consumers:
- These include hawks etc. which feed on secondary consumers.
- These include wide variety of saprotrophic micro- organism like: Bacteria; Fungi; Actinomycetes
- They attract the dead or decayed bodies of organisms & thus decomposition takes place.
- Therefore, nutrients are released for reuse by producers.
II. Abiotic components:
- These include basic inorganic & organic compounds present in the soil & aerial environment.
- The essential elements like C, H, N, O, P, S etc. are supplied by water, nitrogen, nitrates, Sulphates, phosphates present in soil & atmosphere.