Biomes of South Africa Savanna

Images source : Openstax CNX

Images source : Openstax CNX

BIOTIC COMPONENTS

ANIMAL LIFE

The savanna is known for the wild animals that occur her; including the big five the i.e. the lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo. During raining season all animals, big or small, thrive in the savanna, the raining season last about 6-8 months. During the dry season, surface water from the rain is absorbed to the ground because the soil is extremely porous thus competition for water is intense.

PLANT LIFE

The savanna is characterized by its variety of grasses. The grasses are often thick dumps with bare ground and shrubs. There are many types of grasses in the savanna such as Rhode grass, red oats grass and lemon grass, because rainfall only lasts about 6 months, it’s difficult to grow trees. To survive the drought plants put their roots deep underground where most water can be found.

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Image Courtesy of Tanja de Vos

Animal life
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Photo courtesy of Rina Flewin

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Image courtesy of Maurits Steenekamp

ABIOTIC COMPONENTS

VEGETATION

Predominantly grasses, such as red grass, trees, the baobab, camel thorn and monkey thorn

Perennial grasses, sometimes droughts-tolerant and fire resistant trees or shrubs. Frequent veld fires prevent trees from dominating and encourage the germination of seeds.

SOIL

The soil is sandy and lackig in nutrients. Nutrients levels in savanna soil is further reduced by aerobic bacteria which are particularly active in areas where the temperature remains above 25 degrees Celsius for substantial periods of time.

CLIMATE

  • Altitude ranges from sea level to 2000m
  • Rainfall varies from 235 TO 1000mm PER YEAR
  • Frost may occur from 0 to 120 DAYS PER YEAR
  • Lack of sufficient rainfall which prevents the upper tree layer from dominating
  • Summer rainfall is sufficient from grass dominance.

THREATS

  • Development of urban area is increasngly cuttinginto grasslands habitat
  • Continued global warming could turn current marginal grassland into dessetrs as rainfall patterns change

 Presented by : MTSHEMLA, OSIFO, MOSIME

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