The Savanna Biome

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A Biome is a large natural area on Earth where specific types of plants and vegetation grow. (Kalman, 1997). It is a large area where the form of life of climatic vegetation is uniform and also reflects the key features of the climate which also maps out the structural form and nature of the habitat for animals. (Odum, 1997). The climate, soil-types and animal life are all constituents of a Biome. There can be numerous ecosystems in any single Biome. This is due to the fact that there are many different types of food chains and energy transfers between the various Biotic and Abiotic entities as well as different Flora and Fauna, which all co-exist, dependent on each other for their own survival (Kalman, 1997). Odum (1997) said that a Biome…show more content…
The vegetation is a combination of grasses and trees or shrubs. Shrub-land, bushveld and woodland are types of Savanna. The Savanna Biome stretches from the Kalahari in the north-west across to the lowveld in the north-east and southwards to the lowlands of KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape. (E-Kapa, 2007). Summer Rainfall - essential for the grass dominance- is observed and varies greatly across the region. There are frequent fires and most plants can re-grow after fire.(E-Kapa, 2007) There are more than 5700 plant species populating the Savanna Biome. They include various types of grasses. The Savanna Biome is famous for its wild animals, like the Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Elephant, Giraffe, Plains Zebra and numerous birds. Large game reserves like the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and the Kruger National Park are found in this region. The Savanna Biome has predominant activities centred around wildlife tourism and meat production [game, cattle and goats]. The Savanna Biome’s plant life are highly adapted to grow in this environment with long periods of drought (Campbell Biology, 2011). They have long tap root systems that can reach deep into the water table, thick bark resistant to annual fires, trunks capable of water storage and leaves that drop of during the winter for water conservation. The grasses are specialized with sharp spines or bitter tastes which deter animals from grazing on them. Different species will also eat different parts of the grass. Many plants of the Savanna Biome also have storage organs like bulbs and corms to ensure hydration during the dry

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