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Grassland Plant Adaptations Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Great Grasslands
  • 0:49 Plants vs. the Weather
  • 1:30 Plants vs. Fire & Animals
  • 2:08 Plants vs. Pollination
  • 2:28 Lesson Summary
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Instructor: Michelle Jones

Michelle has taught at the elementary level and has earned a master's degree.

After deserts, grasslands are the second driest habitat. Plants that grow here must be able to survive dry seasons, fires, and grazing animals. This lesson explains how plants in the grasslands have adapted to living in these conditions.

Great Grasslands

Don't let the name of this habitat fool you. There are many more plants that live in the grasslands besides grasses. But all plants in this environment face difficult conditions. It only rains 10-30 inches during the late spring and early summer. There are also lots of plant eating animals, and fires are known to sweep through grasslands, burning many plants at a time.

So, why would any plant want to live in a place where it could be burned by a fire, eaten by an animal, and not get very much water? Well, luckily for the animals that live in grasslands, there are many plants that have adapted to survive these very conditions. They're like a fighter in a boxing ring that won't give up! No matter what might knock them down, they find a way to get back up and grow again. Let's look at the adaptations of these tough plants and the opponents they face.

Grassland Plants vs. the Weather

The first opponent grassland plants face is the weather. Since grasslands don't get a lot of rain, many of them have long, narrow leaves that don't need very much water. Also, to get to the water that is under the ground, they have roots that grow deep into the soil.

Winter can also be tough to beat for a grassland plant. Some can survive normally all winter, even under a thick layer of snow. Others go dormant, which means they stop growing leaves, seeds, and roots until spring.

With only a few trees, if any, to block the wind, it can get very windy in the grassland. To battle the wind, plants here have very soft stems that bend easily without breaking. Sometimes it will look like the whole ground is moving because all the plants are swaying in the breeze.

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