Greenland Ecosystem

Greenland Ecosystem

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this Lecture, students will be able to

• Explain Greenland ecosystem

• Explain the types of Greenland ecosystem

• Discuss the characteristic features of Greenland ecosystem

• Discuss the structure and functional of the Greenland ecosystem

Content

• Introduction to Greenland ecosystem

• Types of Greenland ecosystem

• Characteristic features of Greenland ecosystem

• Structure and functional of the Greenland ecosystem

Greenland Ecosystem

• A wide range of landscapes in which the vegetation is mainly formed by grasses and small annual plants are adapted to India’s various climatic conditions

• These form a variety of grassland ecosystems with their specific plants and animals

• What is a grassland ecosystem?

• Grasslands cover areas where rainfall is low & soil depth & quality is poor

• Low rainfall prevents the growth of a large number of trees and shrubs, but is sufficient to support the growth of grass cover during the monsoon

• Many of the grasses and other small herbs become dry and the part above the ground dies during the summer months

• In the next monsoon the grass cover grows back from the root stock and the seeds of the previous year

• This change gives grasslands a highly seasonal appearance with periods of increased growth followed by a dormant phase

• A variety of grasses, herbs, and several species of insects, birds and mammals have evolved so that they are adapted to these wide-open grass covered areas

• Man began to use these grasslands as pastures to feed his livestock when he began to domesticate animals and became a pastoralist in ancient times

Grassland Types in India

• Grasslands  form  a  variety  of  ecosystems  that  are  located  in  different climatic  conditions  ranging  from  near  desert  conditions,  to  patches  of shola grasslands that occur on hillslopes alongside the extremely moist evergreen forests in South India

• In the Himalayan mountains there are the high cold Himalayan pastures.

• There are semi-arid grasslands in Western India, parts of Central India, and in the Deccan Plateau

• Himalayan pasture belt extends up to the snowline

• Grasslands at a lower level form patches along with coniferous or broadleaved forests

• Himalayan wildlife require both the forest and the grassland ecosystem as important parts of their habitat

• Animals migrate up into the high altitude grasslands in summer and move down into the forest in winter when the snow covers the grassland

• Hill slopes are covered with thousands of colourful flowering plants and large number of medicinal plants

• Terai consists of patches of tall grasslands interspersed with a Sal forest ecosystem

• Patches of tall elephant grass, which grows to a height of about five meters, are located in the low-lying waterlogged areas

• The Sal forest patches cover the elevated regions and the Himalayan foothills

• Several mammals such as the wolf, the blackbuck, the chinkara and birds are adapted to these arid conditions

• Shola grasslands consist of patches on hillslopes along with the Shola forests on the Western Ghats, Nilgiri and Annamalai ranges

• Grasslands are related to repeated fires that do not permit the forest to grow

• Grasses are the major producers of biomass in these regions

• Each grassland ecosystem has a wide variety of species of grasses and herbs, thus overused or frequently burnt grasslands are degraded and are poor in plant species diversity

How are grasslands used?

• Grasslands are the grazing areas of many rural communities

• Farmers who keep cattle or goats, as well as shepherds who keep sheep, are highly dependent on grasslands

• Domestic animals are grazed in the ‘common’ land of the village

• Grass is also used to thatch houses and farm sheds

• Major source of fuel

• Grasslands have diverse species of insects that pollinate crops

• There are also predators of these insects such as the small mammals like shrews, reptiles like lizards, birds of prey, and amphibia such as frogs and

What are the threats to grassland ecosystems?

• Overutilization and changes in land use of the ‘common grazing lands’ of rural communities has lead to their degradation

• A major threat to natural grasslands is the conversion of grasslands into irrigated farmlands

• After continuous irrigation such land becomes saline and useless in a few years

• More recently many of these residual grassland tracts have been converted into industrial areas

• This provides short-term economic gains but result in long-term economic

• Changing the grasslands to other forms of landuse such as agriculture, tree plantations and industrialisation forms a serious threat to this highly productive ecosystem

• Finally grasslands become bare, the soil is solidly compacted by trampling, or is washed away during the monsoon by rain and whipped into dust storms during the hot dry summer. The land is degraded, as there is no grass to hold the soil in place. It becomes a wasteland

What if our grasslands disappear?

• If our grasslands are lost we will lose a highly specialised ecosystem in which plants and animals have been adapted to these habitat conditions over millions of years

• Local people will not be able to support their livestock herds

How can grassland ecosystems be conserved?

• Grasslands should not be overgrazed and areas of the grasslands should be closed for grazing

• A part of the grassland in an area must be closed every year so that a rotational grazing pattern is established

• Fires must be prevented and rapidly controlled

• In hilly areas soil and water management in each micro-catchment helps grasslands to return to a natural highly productive ecosystem

What should we do?

• There  is  a  need  to  preserve  the  few  natural  grassland  areas  that  still survive by creating National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in all the different types of grasslands

• Animals such as the wolf, blackbuck, chinkara and birds such as bustards and floricans have now become rare all over the country, they must be carefully protected in the few National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries that have natural grassland habitats

• We need to create an awareness among people that grasslands are of great value

• If  we  are  all  concerned  about  our  disappearing  grasslands  and  their wonderful wildlife, the Government will be motivated to protect them

• Keeping grasslands alive is a National priority

Summary

• Grasslands cover areas where rainfall is low & soil depth & quality is poor

• Grasslands  at  a  lower  level  form  patches  along  with  coniferous  or broadleaved forests

• Grasslands are the grazing areas of many rural communities

• Overutilization and changes in land use of the ‘common grazing lands’ of rural communities has lead to their degradation

• If our grasslands are lost we will lose a highly specialised ecosystem

• Need to preserve the Natural grassland areas that still survive by creating National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries

Post a Comment

0 Comments