21 October 2009

The Grassland and Human Adaptability

The Grassland and Human Adaptability

Did you know that the grassland and savannah environment covers up 1/3 of the world’s land and 1/5 of the world’s population? Grassland is believed to mostly reside in Asia but has traveled to many countries such as Africa, Australia, South and North America. Quality and quantity of grasslands are based on the ecosystem, climate and vegetation features, soil conditions, formation and development of grasslands and fire management. Because there is drought cycles, dehydration, fires, and the human population in areas where grassland environments exist they can survive in almost all climates and all weathers, either developing into something new or surviving on the old. If one was to travel or live in a grassland environment there are some things to be understood.

Through the ecosystem it has been stated that many different reasons how grassland environment was left vulnerable and weak, yet through slight changes many grasslands have been saved. It is said that through the one hundred to one hundred thirty-year drought in the Northern planes of United States grass productivity declined and evaporated, however, irrigation was yet introduced.

Climate & Vegetation Features depends on where, when and at what point of the year you are standing. However, for the most part rainfall is seasonal and fluctuates as well as the dry and wet years where seem to follow each other. Because of the different climates grasslands change to accustom their weather. Tropical grasslands and some savannahs are found in climates, which receive plentiful amounts of rainfall and less evaporation.

Did you know that the soil condition is made up of 50 percent of carbon, which is shoved under the surface, and phosphorus, which is found on top of the surface? So when scientists wonder where have all the phosphorus gone, they look at the animals. Because animals and humans eat plants found in the dirt they are eating and carrying phosphorus with them. When animals die the phosphorus is then reincarnated back to the environment and as humans travel they are changing the locations of phosphorus.

Formation and development of grasslands change more so because as the climates and the formations change the grasslands change into new breeds. Grasslands have expanded, some have decreased all in all they continue to change and develop into new beginnings. Humans can adapt to all settings as long as they have some knowledge or experience in such atmospheres.

Fire management is shown through two major types of temperate grass: sod and bunch. Sod grasses form a thick mat over the ground, and the bunch grass grows in clusters all over. Over time grasslands accumulate a thickness that covers the earth called “Mulch” which comes from sod types of grass. Through man made and God made fires it is the only way to rid the earth of mulch. And it is through fire management that the mulch disappears and expands the need for phosphorus and potassium.

Throughout the grassland chapter is has become clearer to me just how large the grassland population to people and the earth is. Can humans live in such environments? In the Central Himalayan region of India, many humans have adapted to the grassland way of life, however, due to there over populating community they are slowly declining. As forests are evaporating and food is becoming harder to find, soon the Indian grassland may disappear. So is living in the grassland a good idea or not? Will everyone respect each other’s boundaries or will they run out of supplies?


Moran, Emilio F. "Human Adaptability: An Introduction to Ecological Anthropology." Human Adaptability to Grasslands. Third Edition. Westview Press, 2008. 227-236.

Samal, Prasanna K., Lok Man S. Palni, and Devendra K. Agrawal "Ecology, ecological poverty and sustainable development in Central Himalayan region of India." International Journal for Sustainable Development & World Ecology 10.2 (2003): 157. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 21 Oct. 2009.


  1. I think compared to the other chapters so far the Grassland chapter has really highlighted many relationships of the organism to the environment. Particularly intriguing to me was the relationship of animals to the grasslands and where it mentions the important ecological relationship between the two. Where in big game hunting, elephants are killed which leads to less environmental modification by trampling thus resulting in the habitats of tsetses to thrive without this obstacle and thus causing an increase in disease among the people. The environment, humans, animals and insects are all interrelated as humans strive to adapt to living in the grassland ecosystem.
    Also, I think it is important to notice the similarities in adaptation strategies in different ecosystems...basically the interdependence of the farming population and the nomadic pastoralists versus the people of the arctic and the interdependence that exists there between the coastal and inland population. Thus, the underlying fact that humans form alliances to overcome environmental limitations wherever and however they may live.
    I think your mentioning of soil formations, fire management, and variable weather all play a crucial part in determining the environmental and economic factors that affect herding strategies utilized by the grassland populations which in turn has effects such as the prompting of animal diversification.

  2. First of all Thank you for you post. I like how you begin with a thought that provkes me to think about the topic in a new way. Even though my group presentation was on grass lands I learned a few key point from you blog. I like how you linked animals and how they live to how the environment evolves over time. Especailly the the part about fire and weather, caused me to pause and give thought to the topic in a new way.

  3. Anonymous26/6/12 07:33

    fuck it