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RANGELANDS
Rangelands are vast natural landscapes in the form of grasslands,

shrublands, woodlands, wetlands, and deserts. Types of rangelands include tall grass and shortgrass prairies, desert grasslands and shrublands, woodlands, savannas, chaparrals, steppes, and tundras. Rangelands do not include barren desert, farmland, closed canopy forests, or land covered by solid rock, concrete and/or glaciers. Rangelands are distinguished from pasture lands because they grow primarily native vegetation, rather than plants established by humans. Rangelands are also managed principally with extensive practices such as managed livestock grazing and prescribed fire rather than more intensive agricultural practices of seeding, irrigation, and the use of fertilizers. Pasture is land used for grazing. Pasture lands in the narrow sense are enclosed tracts of farmland, grazed by domesticated livestock, such as horses, cattle, sheep or swine. The vegetation of tended pasture, forage, consists mainly of grasses, with an interspersion of legumes and other forbs. Pasture is typically grazed throughout the summer, in contrast to meadow which is used for grazing only after being mown to make hay for winter fodder. Grazing generally describes a type of feeding, in which a herbivore feeds on plants (such as grasses), and also on other multicellular autotrophs (such as algae). Grazing differs from true predation because the organism being eaten from is not generally killed, and it differs from parasitism as the two organisms do not live together, nor is the grazer necessarily so limited in what it can eat. Grazing is an important use of rangelands but the term "rangeland" is not synonymous with "grazinglands". There are areas of rangeland that are not grazed and there are grazed areas that are not rangelands. Types of Rangeland: 1. Grasslands Grasslands are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses and other herbaceous plants. Grasslands occur naturally on all continents except Antarctica. In temperate latitudes, native grasslands are dominated by perennial bunch grass species, whereas in warmer climates annual species form a greater component of the vegetation.

An Inner Mongolian grassland in the People's Republic of China

and shrubs. but not dry enough to be a desert. savannas and shrublands biome by ecologists. Prairie in Alberta. Savanna Prairie.Page |2 2. rather than trees. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of C4 grasses. as the dominant vegetation type. Canada . USA Savanna is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. often also including grasses. A stable state may be maintained by regular natural disturbance such as fire or browsing. It may be the mature vegetation type in a particular region and remain stable over time. or a transitional community that occurs temporarily as the result of a disturbance. herbs. Shrubland may either occur naturally or be the result of human activity. though it is not usually called such. South Dakota. and geophytes. or covered with grass or shrubs or both. based on similar temperate climates. Badlands National Park. and grasses. such as fire. Shrubland Shrubland is a plant community characterized by vegetation dominated by shrubs. The term is also used to denote the climate encountered in regions too dry to support a forest. in physical geography. 5. Shrubland may be unsuitable for Scrub vegetation with cactus in Webb human habitation because of the danger of fire. Steppe Typical tropical savanna in Northern Australia Steppe. 4. refers to a biome region characterized by grass land plain without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes. Prairie Prairies are considered part of the temperate grasslands. herbs. The prairie (especially the shortgrass and mixed prairie) is an example of a steppe. moderate rainfall. It may be semi-desert. depending on the season and latitude. County in south Texas 3.

less than enough to support growth of most plants. Scattered trees grow in some tundra. provide extensive and nearly continuous shade are referred to as forest. with largely closed canopy. In tundra. Desert Desert is a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation.Page |3 6. Higher densities and areas of trees. sedges and grasses. Woodland Woodland is a low-density forest forming open habitats with plenty of sunlight and limited shade. mosses. and lichens. A woodland ecosystem at Morton Arboretum in Illinois 7. Tundra Tundra is a biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. Woodlands may support an understory of shrubs and herbaceous plants including grasses. the vegetation is composed of dwarf shrubs. 8. The Great Victoria Desert in Australia Tundra in Greenland . Woodland may form a transition to shrubland under drier conditions or during early stages of primary or secondary succession. Deserts are defined as areas with an average annual precipitation of less than 250 millimetres (10 in) per year.

and three centimetres reduce stock numbers in woodlands if animals frequently strip bark and/or destroy young sapling trees maintain boundary fences to control movement of stock shepherd open hill land to distribute grazing pressure evenly and avoid localised overgrazing control the spread of bracken to maintain grass and heather areas . except when the weather is particularly hard reduce stock numbers if there is frequent bare ground. However. productivity. soil organic matter and soil fertility impair the land's future natural and agricultural productivity. or by overpopulations of native or non-native wild animals. and biodiversity of the land and is one cause of desertification and erosion. Their loss is critical in determining the soil's water-holding capacity and how well pasture plants do during dry weather. It can be caused by either livestock in poorly managed agricultural applications. you should:         only graze as many animals as the vegetation will support. Reduction in soil depth. To avoid overgrazing on areas of natural or semi-natural vegetation. suppressed heather or grass sward heights under five centimetres for rough grassland. Overgrazing is also seen as a cause of the spread of invasive species of non-native plants and of weeds.Page |4 Overgrazing Overgrazing occurs when plants are exposed to intensive grazing for extended periods of time. Ecological Impacts Overgrazing typically increases soil erosion. Overgrazing reduces the usefulness.use away wintering and housing where possible avoid using supplementary feeding to support animals on unproductive land. Soil fertility can sometimes be mitigated by applying the appropriate lime and organic fertilizers. when plant growth slows or stops . or without sufficient recovery periods. the loss of soil depth and organic matter takes centuries to correct. taking into account the most sensitive habitats reduce livestock numbers in autumn and winter.

mahogany and ebony) destroys trees as well as opening up forests for agriculture. about 80-90 percent of the entire species of the world exist here. which flow with the rainwater into waterways. leaving no chance for the groundwater tables to absorb more water. for by the time the trees mature.  Disruption of the Water Cycle Trees contribute in a large way in maintaining the water cycle. the soil will be totally devoid of essential nutrients. When there are no trees. Even though tropical rainforest make up just 6 percent of the surface area of the Earth. Due to massive felling of trees. due to volatile nutrients such as nitrogen being lost. teak.  felling of trees for firewood and building material.  development of cash crops and cattle ranching. When these trees are cut down it results in the climate getting drier in that area. making it very dry and eventually. it washes away the rest of the nutrients. and heavy browsing of saplings by domestic animals like goats. water just runs off. Causes of Deforestation Deforestation is brought about by the following:  conversion of forests and woodlands to agricultural land to feed growing numbers of people. ranches.  commercial logging (which supplies the world market with woods such as meranti. infertile. or urban use. ultimately leading to reduction in water resources. it results in exposing the soil to the sun.  Loss of Biodiversity The unique biodiversity of various geographical areas is being lost on a scale that is quite unprecedented. Because of this. the heavy lopping of foliage for fodder. remains inside the plants. A large part of the water that circulates in the ecosystem of rainforests. The groundwater tables are affected and soon get depleted.Page |5 Deforestation Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a non-forest use. The effects on animals is very heartbreaking. Large tracts of land will be rendered permanently impoverished due to soil erosion. Thus. resulting in the land becoming useless. which is then released into the atmosphere. They not only lose their . Effects of Deforestation  Erosion of Soil When forest areas are cleared. Ultimately. In addition. They draw up water via their roots. for instance. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms. The trees help in prevention of running off of water and help the soil absorb the flowing water. about 50 to 100 species of animals are being lost each day. when there is rainfall. both of which earn money for tropical countries. The outcome of which is the extinction of animals and plants on a massive scale. cultivation in this land will also become impossible. merely replanting trees may not help in solving the problems caused by deforestation.

Many beautiful creatures. . so that cutting trees in a forest area becomes a major crime. they are pushed to extinction. fats. When deforestation occurs. but its flow may also be reversed. Solutions to Deforestation  Reforestation Many countries in the world have started reforestation and forestry. Thus. have to be managed properly. in turn. which is then used to produce carbohydrates. which leads to alternating periods of flood and then drought in the affected area.  Cities All cities.  Wildlife Sanctuaries Sanctuaries are very important. many of the trees are burnt or they are allowed to rot. Their expansion has to be curtailed or at least done in a systematic manner. not only to save wildlife. When forests are cut down. However. since they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. including China. Trees act as a major storage depot for carbon. This.  Legislation By making suitable changes in the law. will not only lead to deforestation being controlled in a major way. what is not known quite as well is that deforestation has a direction association with carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. and East Asian nations are leading in this regard. this regulation of the flow of water is disrupted. and proteins that make up trees. leading to disruption of human settlements and loss of life in thousands. leads to greater concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. and new trees are planted where ever possible. let alone new cities. Many East Asian countries. Sanctuaries go a long way in protecting all wildlife. so that there is enough green cover. which results in releasing the carbon that is stored in them as carbon dioxide.  Climate Change It is well-known that global warming is being caused largely due to emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. but to save trees as well. in my opinion. both plants and animals have vanished from the face of the earth.Page |6 habitat and protective cover. have successfully managed to reverse deforestation.  Flooding and Drought One of the vital functions of forests is to absorb and store great amounts of water quickly when there are heavy rains.

while another area has abundance of it. The construction of new dams should be planned properly.  Commercial Forest Plantations There can be special forest plantations for all the wood that is needed for the industry. If the wildlife doesn't have water.Page |7  Incentive to Corporates Tax cuts should be granted to corporations. . so that any one area isn't deprived of water. This way the wood can be cut in a controlled and regulated environment. then the entire ecosystem will falter.  Water Management Improper water management affects deforestation in a big way. to get them actively interested in reforestation.

 Destruction of vegetation in arid regions. this will cause economic problems and starvation. If the population is growing. such as climate change and human activities. All of these effects can hurt people living near an affected region . often for fuelwood. Desertification is a significant global ecological and environmental problem.  Causes Famine Places that have war and poverty are most likely to have famine occur. plant species may be lost. They moved their small groups of domestic animals in response to food and water availability. when overgrazing occurs. Plants of semi-arid areas are adapted to being eaten by sparsely scattered.  People near Affected Areas Desertification can cause flooding. Desertification is also the process of fertile land transforming into desert typically as a result of deforestation. large. and pollution. Salt can build up in the soil which makes it harder for plant growth. Drought and poor land management contribute to famine. grazing mammals which move in response to the patchy rainfall common to these regions.  Cultivation of marginal lands.Page |8 Desertification Desertification is a type of land degradation in which a relatively dry land region becomes increasingly arid. i. (the build up of salts in the soil) which can prevent plant growth. Early human pastoralists living in semi-arid areas copied this natural system. dust storms. drought or improper/inappropriate agriculture Causes of Desertification  Overgrazing is the major cause of desertification worldwide. Also. It is caused by a variety of factors. therefore the amount of food being made will decline. poor water quality. Nutrients in the soil can be removed by wind or water. typically losing its bodies of water as well as vegetation and wildlife.  Vegetation is Lacked or Damaged Loosened soil may bury plants or leave their roots exposed.  Food Loss The soil is not suited for growing food. Such regular stock movement prevented overgrazing of the fragile plant cover. The Effects of Desertification  Soil becomes less usable The soil can be blown away by wind or washed away rain.  Incorrect irrigation practices in arid areas can cause salinization.e lands on which there is a high risk of crop failure and a very low economic return.

which involve the establishment of lines of fast-growing trees planted at right angles to the prevailing surface winds.Page |9 Solution to Desertification  Tree planting o Wind breaks. trap airborne dirt  No till/low till farming o Less soil disturbance  Alternative energy (to relieve fuelwood fuelwood pressure) o Solar cookers for food o Wind turbines yield energy and wind breaks  Livestock management o Non-trampling o Feed cut forage in an enclosure . They are primarily used to slow wind-driven soil erosion but may be used to inhibit the encroachment of sand dunes o Prevent erosion.

html Causes of Deforestation.wikipedia. Retrieved November 13. Retrieved November 13. Retrieved November 13.wikipedia.html Grazing. Retrieved November 13.tripod.buzzle.htm Deforestation.org/wiki/Pasture Rangeland. 2012 from http://en. 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.gov. 2012 from https://www.P a g e | 10 References Cause and Effects of Desertification.org/wiki/Rangeland . Retrieved November 13. 2012 from http://www. Retrieved November 13. 2012 from http://en.uwc. 2012 from http://en. Retrieved November 13.com/articles/causes-and-effects-of-deforestation.org/wiki/Grazing How to avoid overgrazing or unsuitable supplementary feeding.uk/hill-farming Pasture. 2012 from http://en. 2012 from http://desertificationb. Retrieved November 13.wikipedia.com/id3.org/wiki/Deforestation Desertification. Retrieved November 13.wikipedia.ac.botany.za/envfacts/facts/deforestation.org/wiki/Desertification Effects and Solutions to Deforestation. 2012 from http://www.