Grassland Veldt Southern africa

Climate Of The Veldt In South Africa

The average annual rainfall in the Veldt is between 15 and 30 inches (380 and 760 mm)

The average temperature in the South African Veldt is between 45 °F (7 °C) and 60 °F (16 °C) during the winter. In the summer temperatures range between 65 °F (18 °C) and 80 °F (27 °C).

Weather in the Veldt is unbearably hot summers in the months of November through March. Its winters are weak with very rarely any snow, since temperatures do not drop below freezing and precipitation occurs during the summer months in powerful thunderstorms.

Net Primary Productivity

In the South African grasslands the NPP is 3000 Kilocalories per square meter per year. This compares to a high 9000 Kilocalories per meter per year in the tropical rain forest, estuary and swamps. Then a low 200 Kilocalories per meter per year in the desert. The grassland produces 8 Kilocalories per meter per day. This is relatively low compared to other locations. the grassland gets 10-30 Inches of rain a year which is in the middle when noting the highest is more than 60 inches of rain and the lowest will get lower than 10 inches of rain. the grasslands take up 21% of the land surface and is the 3rd highest compared to the temperate forest with 22% and the baren landscape with 33%. the South African grasslands are found in between latitudes 15 degrees North and 30 degrees South.

Soil Quality of the Veldt

The soil quality here is sandy and dry. in some places it is very rocky as well. the most fertile area of the Veldt is called the Highveld. Here the ground is great for absorbing all of the water from rain. In South Africa the Veldt is used to grow mainly grain products and other vegetables. This landscape was also used to mine about half the gold ever produced in the world.

Invasive and Endangered Species

The Pompom weed, accidently introduced into the Veldt in 1899 during the Anglo Boer War. The plant was brought from South America inside of horse feed.

This invader has caused serious problems to the Veldt and has lowered biodiversity, especially in native plants. Which then makes it harder for larger herbivores to graze.

The Cape Mountain Zebra, the reasoning behind this species endangerment is the H in HIPPCO which stands for habitat destruction. Due to human interaction which is mainly hunting and agriculture. The Mountain Zebra has its food source limited and is threatened by poachers.

Animals in the Veldt

The Ostrich is well adapted to this landscape for it is tall to see predators and during a life threatening situation can run up to 43 mph. Its powerful legs allow for great defense when attacked and its maneuverable neck can be used to feed on plant matter with ease.

The Thompson's Gazelle, it is keen to adapting for food. An example of this behavior is during the wet seasons eat short fresh grass and then in dry climate how a larger variety of food such as foliage from bushes, forbs and clovers. The best defensive tactic the Gazelle has is that at top speed it can run as fast as 60 mph to escape danger.

The Cheetah, the ultimate predator in the Veldt. It can reach up to speeds of 70 mph, its low to the ground so its prey cant see it coming and its coat allows for excellent camouflage.

Plant Life in the Veldt

Red grass, one of the most resistant and important species of plants in the Veldt. It can grow to 1.5 meters long and has a natural resistance to fire when the grassland is burned frequently. This plant can grow in any soil and if an area in the Veldt has plenty of Red grass this is an indicator of a healthy Veldt.

The Baobab tree, also knon as the Adansonia, can grown up to a height of 98 ft. and can reach a thickness of 36 ft. This tree has a very important role with providing a variety of bird species with nesting places. One of the oldest Baobab trees recorded had an age of over 1200 years.

The Acacia tree, an abundant tree in the Veldt they are a instantly recognizable landmark. They are able to protect themselves with thorns on their leaves and sometimes stinging ant live inside hollowed out thorns in a mutualistic relationship. These plants provide food for many hooved animals and birds. When the tree is threatened it will release a poison gas from their leaves that can be fatal to animals but also warn other nearby Acacia trees of danger so they can also manufacture their own poisons.

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