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Introduction to ecosystems

[image - savanna grassland in Africa]
Savanna grassland in Africa


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Where is Savanna found?
Savanna grasslands are found between tropical rainforests and desert. This includes areas such as Central Africa (Kenya), America and The North and East of South America (Brazil).

What is Savanna?
Savanna is similar to grassland but with scattered trees. These areas have seasons: cool and dry, hot and dry followed by warm and wet. All savanna areas have a wet and dry season.

How did the Savanna get like this?
Nearer the equator the heavy rainfall during the wet season, and the fairly high total amount of rainfall during the dry season encourages vegetation to grow. This vegetation includes thick lush grass and heavily wooded areas. Away from the equator, vegetation in the form of trees and poor quality grasses are only found near rivers and water holes.

What is the impact of humans on Savanna?
Indigenous People (native people) - Savanna areas are popular with nomads (people who move from place to place) e.g. Massai tribe of Kenya. This method of farming can be beneficial to the environment. Grazing animals are not kept in just one area. They are moved from place to place, allowing vegetation to recover. However, in times of serious drought animals can remove the scarce vegetation cover. This leaves the soil prone to erosion. Desertification (land turning to desert) occurs in extreme cases.

Tourism - The rich variety of wildlife in savanna areas attracts many tourists on safari. Transport used by the tourists often damages vegetation and scares the wildlife.

What is the future for the Savanna? - Sustainable Development
If development in areas of savanna is to be sustainable (e.g. although the resources are used to aid development, it/they will still exist for future generations to use) ecotourism must be further developed. You can find out more about ecotourism here.


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