What Do the Pampas, Prairies, Steppes and the Highveld Have in Common?

pampas-prairies-steppes-highveld-common Credit: Jim Lukach/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

The Highveld, the Pampas, steppes and prairies are all grasslands, which are biomes dominated by grasses, flowers and herbs. Savannas and the Llanos region of northern South America are also grasslands.

Grasslands are usually found in the drier regions of a continent's interior and often lie between forests and deserts. They typically have erratic precipitation and are subject to frequent droughts and fires. Temperate grasslands receive 10 to 30 inches of rain annually and are dormant during the winter. Tropical and subtropical grasslands may receive up to 60 inches of rain per year and usually have wet and dry seasons. In addition to precipitation, soil fertility and fire frequency help determine whether grasses or trees will dominate a given terrain.