Would you like to know about the Australian grasslands? Then read our article for facts and information…
Australian grasslands are flat, open habitats that are covered in grass, wild flowers, low shrubs, some trees and other types of plants. The extent of rainfall received by the grassland lies between that of forests and deserts; these areas receive more rainfall than the deserts but less than the forestlands. The Australian grasslands are famous for having the most species of plants in the Australian subcontinent. These grasslands are famed for the numerous types of grasses that grow on these plains.
Grasses are plants that are common to every continent on the planet. They grow from the east to the west coast and from valleys to mountains. They are among the most successful among all plant species simply because of their adaptability and for the way in which they grow. Unlike other plants grasses grow from the base and not the tip of the plant. This means that these plants can grow under any circumstances and against all odds. For instance if a patch of grass is burned; this wont keep it from growing because even though the tips are burnt the plant will grow again from the base. It is no wonder than that thousands of foot steps on these grasses make no difference to their growth or survival capacity.
The leaves or glass blades are long and thin so very little moisture is lost and their deep thin roots are perfect for survival in dry soils. Unfortunately rapid industrialization and urbanization have proved detrimental to the native grasslands of Australia and most of them are disappearing at an alarming ace. When Captain Cook landed on the continent he was thrilled by the green luscious carpet of grass and wild flowers that covered the continent from coast to coast. However, European settlement changed much of this natural scenery and most native grasslands were turned into grazing pastures or changed for farming and other development or removed for settlement. Vast areas of grasslands were also cleared and were replaced by specific types of grass that the animals could graze on, still more grasslands were cleared for crops
Unfortunately, the habitat that once covered Australia from one end to the other has almost but disappeared with the Australian grasslands being deemed as the most threatened of all natural habitats in Australia with just less than 1% of the native grasslands remaining in the country.
Native grasslands also include several endangered orchids, pea plant species and lilies. A habitat does not just include plants but also animals that rely on the habitat for their survival. In the Australian grasslands these fauna include ground dwelling birds, reptile and small marsupials all of which are now threatened by the near extinction of the Australian grasslands.