Grassland Ecosystems

A grassland is part of an ecosystem and an ecosystem is when an environment has living and nonliving parts that work together or interact with each other.

In each ecosystem, the living parts depend on the nonliving parts in order to survive.

What is a Grassland?

A grassland is a place or a part of land that has flowering plants and different kinds of grasses and wildflowers.

A grassland does not have very many trees and there is not much rain, so the soil of a grassland is very dry.

The dry soil prevents many trees from growing because trees need more water to grow.

In a grassland, trees do oftentimes grow along creeks or rivers where there is more water, but the grasses of the grassland are very strong because they have deep roots.


The plants and grasses depend on these deep roots to help protect them from insects and other animals or from cooler weather.

With the deep roots, the plants are able to survive, even if the top of the plant dies such as in the wintertime.

When the weather warms up, the root will still be alive, and the plant will grow back.

The deep roots also help the plants to find water in the hot summers and when the weather is dry.

Tall and Short Grasslands

Even though grasslands do not get a lot of water, some grasslands get more than others. When grasslands get more rain, they have tall-grass prairies.

When grasslands get less rain, they have short-grass prairies. A prairie is grassland that is in North America.


Steppes are grasslands that are found in Russia, Mongolia and Ukraine. There are over 4,000 miles of steppes in Asia.


In South America, over 300,000 Pampas, or grasslands, are found.

Animals and Insects

There are many different animals and insects that are found in the grasslands including turkeys, eagles, snakes, rabbits, mice, prairie dogs, turkeys, bobcats, foxes, bison, butterflies, grasshoppers and more.


The grasslands are made up mostly of grasses and plants including plants such as needle grass, butterfly weed, sunflowers and more.

Where Are Grasslands Located?

Many grasslands are found in North America, in South America and in Asia. Grasslands are generally found between deserts and forests because there is not enough rain to grow trees but too much to be a desert.

Facts About Grasslands

  • Grasslands are important to farmers because farmers can grow crops on grasslands.
  • Grasslands are a great place to have livestock.
  • Large groups of prairie dogs live in burrows under the grasslands.
  • Many wildfires have affected grasslands.
  • Fires on grasslands spread quickly.
  • Fires help new grasses to grow and replaces old grasses.
  • Over 1000 different types of grasses grow in grasslands.
  • Bison used to be wild in grasslands, but now only a few herds remain because of hunting.

What Did You Learn?

  • What does not grow often in grasslands? Trees do not grow often in grasslands because they need more water.
  • What kinds of things mostly grow in grasslands? Wildflowers and grasses mostly grow in grasslands.
  • What are the three types of grasslands that were discussed? The three types of grasslands were prairies, steppes and pampas.
  • Why are grasslands important to farmers? Grasslands are important to farmers because grasslands are the perfect place to grow crops and to have livestock.
  • Why are wild Bison rare? Wild Bison are rare because most of them have been hunted and now they only mostly live in domesticated areas.