What is a savannah? Definition:
As savannah are characterized by grasslands dominated vegetation zones with a subtropical climate. The term is borrowed from the Spanish language (Spanish sabana) and means something like "wide grassland" or "wide grass steppe". Often, savanna areas are the "transition zones" between desert and tropical forest.
A typical feature of the vegetation in savannas is the almost continuously overgrown soil. There grass species need only little water for growth and distribution. The height of the grasses can vary from knee to body height. For example, the elephant grass reaches a height of four meters in good conditions.
In contrast, trees are only isolated and at greater distances from each other. Because of the rare or low precipitation, larger groups of trees would compete for the few water at their location. Hardy acacias are the only tree species found in many regions.
Depending on the season and region, temperatures range between 20 and 30 ° C during the day. But savannah-specific ecosystems do not only occur in Africa. In Australia, Asia Minor, Central Asia, and North and South America, there are also large, cohesive savanna areas. They make up about 14 to 18% of the total landmass on earth.
Savannahs provide a habitat for a large variety of animals. Following a small selection of animals adapted to climatic-ecological conditions in savannas:
Antelope, buffalo, elephant, ground gnome, gazelle, vulture, giraffe, hyder, kangaroo, crocodile, leopard, lion, apes, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, termites, ostrich and zebra
Delimitation Savanna and steppe
The concept of the steppe functions as a generic term for landscapes dominated by grasses with a warm, humid, or even dry, warm climate. Savannah is a subspecies of the steppe and is used as a term specifically for vegetation zones with a tropical climate. Other special forms of the steppes are u.a. the Outback (Australia), the Pampa (South America), the Prädrie (North America) or the High-Country (New Zealand). For more detailed information on the steppe, there is a separate article: The steppe (vegetation zone)
Thornbush savanna, wet savanna and dry savanna
Based on the appearance of flora and fauna, three different savannahs can be distinguished. The savannah type is determined by annual precipitation. Note: A precise demarcation is often difficult, as the transition between the individual types of savannah is liquid.
200 - 600mm
600 - 1200mm
1200 - 1800mm
|Dry season:||about 10 months||about 6 months||about 3 months|