NCERT Class 7 Geography Chapter 9 - Life in Grasslands Notes

Chapter 9 - Life in Grasslands Notes

1. Forest can be defined as the place where trees are the main type of vegetation. Grassland can be defined as a region where grasses form the dominant type of plant life.

2. Grasslands make up almost a quarter of the total land surface.

3. The types of plants or grasses are dependent on the climate and soil.

4. The world’s grasslands can be divided into two broad categories
a) Temperate Grassland
b) Tropical Grasslands

5. The temperate grasslands of North America are known as the Prairies. It is a region of flat, gently sloping or hilly land. Tall grass, up to two metres high, dominates the landscape. Most part of prairies is treeless.

6. The prairies are bound by the Rocky Mountains in the West and the great lakes in the East. Prairies cover parts of United States of America and parts of Canada. In the USA, the area is drained by the tributaries of Mississippi and the Canadian prairies are drained by the tributaries of Saskatchewan Rivers.

7. The climate is of continental type with extreme temperatures. The summers are warm with temperatures of around 20°C, while in winter -20°C has been recorded in Winnipeg, Canada. In winters, a thick blanket of snow covers this region.

8. The annual rainfall is moderate and is ideal for the growth of grass. A local wind “Chinook” blows here.

9. Prairies are practically tree-less. Where water is available, trees such as willows, alders and poplars grow.

10. Places that receive rainfall of over 50 cm, are suitable for farming as the soil is fertile. The major crop of this area is maize, other crops including potatoes, soybean, cotton and alfa-alfa are also grown.

11. Prairies are suitable for cattle rearing. Large cattle farms are called ‘ranches’. Bison or the American buffalo is the most important protected animal of this region. The other animals found in this region are rabbits, coyotes, gophers and prairie dog.

12. The people of the Prairies region are very hard-working. Two of the most developed countries in the world - the USA and Canada are located in this region. Scientific methods of cultivation and use of tractors, harvesters and combines have made North America a surplus food producer.

13. The Prairies are also known as the “Granaries of the world,” due to the huge surplus of wheat production.

14. In the Prairies region dairy farming is another major industry. Dairy farming and extensive agriculture both promote setting up of food processing industries.

15. Large mineral deposits particularly coal and iron are found in this region. A good network of roads, railways and canals in this region has made it the most industrialized region in the world.

16. The temperate grasslands of South Africa are called the Velds. Velds are rolling plateaus with varying heights ranging from 600 m to 1100 m. It is bound by the Drakensburg Mountains on the east. To its west lies the Kalahari Desert. On the Northeastern part, “height Velds’ are located that attain a height of more than 1600m, in some places.

17. The tributaries of rivers Orange and Limpopo drain the region.

18. The Velds have a mild climate due to the influence of the Indian Ocean. Winters are cold and dry. Temperatures vary between 5°C and 10°C July is the coldest mouth. Summers are short and warm.

19. The Velds receive rainfall mainly in the summer months from November to February.

20. The vegetation cover is sparse. Grasses dominate the landscape. Red grass grows in bush Velds. In the high Velds acacia and maroola are seen to be growing.

21. The animals of the Velds are primarily lions, leopards, cheetah and kudu.

22. In the Velds region the main crops are maize, wheat, barley, oats and potato. Cash crops like tobacco, sugar cane and cotton are also grown.

23. In the Velds regions, sheep rearing is the most important occupation of the people. Sheep has given rise to the wool industry in the Velds. Merino sheep is a popular species and its wool is very warm.

24. Dairy farming is the next important occupation. Cattle are reared in the warmer and wetter regions and the dairy products like butter, cheese are produced for both domestic supply and also for export.

25. The Velds have rich reserve of minerals. Iron and steel industry has developed where coal and iron are present. Gold and diamond mining are major occupations of people of this region.

26. Johannesburg is known for being the gold capital of the world. Kimberley is famous for its diamond mines. The mineral rich area has a well-developed network of transport.

27. The word Prairie originated from Latin word priata which means meadow.

28. The grasslands of Prairies were the home of Native Americans often called “Red Indians”. They were the actual habitant of the continent. The Prairies were home of other tribes also like the Apache, the Crow, the Cree and the Pawnee.

29. Chinook is a hot wind that blows in winter and therefore raises the temperature within a short time. This increase in temperature results in the melting of snow, making pastureland available for grazing of animals.

30. Combine is a single machine which can combine tasks of sowing, ploughing and threshing (three - in - one)

31. Important cities in the American prairies are Chicago, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Kansas and Denver. In the Canadian prairies the important cities are Edmonton, Saskatoon, Calgary and Winnipeg.

32. The Veld name was given by the Dutch settlers before South Africa was colonised by the British.

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