Savanna: Types of savanna

len Alfred Ajibola - Thu, 09th January, 2020 @ 8:30 AM

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Types of savanna

All savannas (or grasslands) share one underlying factor and that's their similar climate. In fact, it is the nature of their climate that give rise to grasses as their dominant plant population.

Savanna (also spelt as savannah) are often referred to as grasslands.

Please read on the introduction to savanna here.

Generally, the savanna can be put into 3 types. These are:

  1. Climatic Savanna

  2. Edaphic Savanna

  3. Derived Savanna

However, understand that we also have other types of savanna based on the region or location where they are present. Some of these includes:

1. Climatic Savanna

Climatic savannas are formed as result of their climate. In fact, most savannas seen around the world are climatic in nature. These will include the tropical savanna and temperate savanna.

The climate of a savanna biome is usually comprised of two seasons. These are: the dry (windy) season and the wet (rainy) season.

Please read on the concept of a Biome here.

During the dry season, the biotic (living) components of the savanna which include plants (especially grasses) and animals disappears. This is the case because wild fires are common during this period. As a result, the grasses are burnt up while the animals run away or burrow themselves deep into the soil as means of survival.

Note: During this period, the savanna is laid bare. For this reason, most trees cannot survive in the savanna as a result of the long dry seasons. However, the grasses are adapted to survive due to their methods of propagation and short life cycles.

Please read on the methods of plant propagation here.

When the rains come (during the wet seasons), the spores and seeds of the grasses germinate and flourishes once again while animals that had migrated return to the grassland to graze. Once again, the rivers and lakes become filled up as life resumes to its fullest in the savanna.

From the above explanations, we can infer that plant and animal community are adapted to survive in the savanna. It is these adapted plants and animals that eventually constitute the savanna ecosystem.

Please read more on the concept of an ecosystem here.

It is the climatic conditions of the savanna that gives rise to its nature of biotic community and ecosystem. In short, this is what differentiates the savanna from other biomes like the tropical rainforests and deserts.

Please read on tropical rain forests here.

Please read on the types of desert here.

2. Edaphic Savanna

The word 'edaphic' relates to the soil. Edaphic savannas are formed based on the nature and type of soil present within it.

Typically, the soil as seen in edaphic savanna isn't quite rich in nutrients. It is also not deep enough. As a result, the growth of trees aren't supported here. Conversely, grasses can adapt and flourish here because of their inherent survival characteristics to soils will poor nutrients.

Edaphic savannas are typically smaller when compared to climatic savanna. In addition, they are often found in regions with lesser annual rainfall and warmer climate.

You can read on ecology here.

3. Derived Savanna

As the name implies, these savannas are derived from other types of biomes.

As an instance, the government of a nation may decide to clear out a forest area, converting it into a savanna. To this end, they will probably cut down all the trees and plant grasses in replacement, thus making it a derived grassland.

You can read on the differences between plants and crops here.

It had also been reported that the grazing actions of African elephants have given rise to derived savanna in areas that initially had a good population of trees and other plants.

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 10 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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