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Biome: Midlatitude Grassland

  • By: Dwight A. Brown
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The midlatitude grasslands are not easily defined. Most grasslands are areas of low relief and low rainfall, the combination of which protects them by reducing erosion disturbances that allows rapid invasion by trees and shrubs. Much of the former grasslands in higher-rainfall regions were removed by cultivation. The midlatitude grasslands lie mostly between 25° and 50° of latitude in both hemispheres. The grass species of the midlatitude grasslands come from rich sources both in the tropics and high latitudes. The species did not arrive together and many grasslands have been in place for thousands to millions of years. New grass species invade along disturbance corridors, such as valley walls or bottoms. The dominant grass species use a variety of seed dispersal mechanisms. Some are adapted ...

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