Grassland biotic features

Updated April 17, 2017

A grassland biome is a type of ecosystem. An ecosystem is the combination of the living and nonliving things in a location, and the way they interact with each other. The things in an ecosystem are divided into biotic and abiotic components. The biotic components are the living parts of the ecosystem while the abiotic components are the nonliving things.

The grassland biome

Grasslands are areas that have grass as the dominant vegetation. Grasslands are divided into savannahs and temperate grasslands. Savannahs are grasslands with a few scattered trees while temperate grasslands have hardly any trees at all. Temperate grasslands include prairies and steppes. Steppes are grassland with hot summers and cold winters. The types of biotic factors found in both types of grasslands are generally similar.


The producers in any ecosystem are the primary producers of food. The primary producers in the grasslands are the plants. They are biotic factors that convert the energy from the Sun into a usable form. They also absorb nutrients from the soil and store them. Types of plants in temperate grasslands include grasslike, purple needlegrass, galleta and buffalo grass. Some flowers include coneflowers, clovers, asters and wild indigos. A few trees like willows, cottonwood and oaks also grow in temperate grasslands. Plants in savannahs include grasses like read oat grass, lemon grass and star grass. Flowers include goldenrods and blazing stars.


The consumers in an ecosystem depend on the producers for survival. They are divided into the herbivores, carnivores and omnivores. Herbivores feed directly on the consumers. Omnivores feed on both plants and herbivores, while carnivores feed on herbivores and omnivores. Herbivores in grasslands include zebras, hares, deer and gazelles. Other consumers include horses, wolves, quails, foxes, lions, snakes and owls.


Decomposers break down the organic material in an ecosystem into nutrients. Decomposers include detritivores like vultures that feed on the carcases of dead animals. Other types of decomposers break down other organic materials like dead grass, trees and the body waste of other animals. They include insects, worms, mushrooms and microorganisms like bacteria and fungi. Other examples of decomposers in grasslands include earthworms, slugs, beetles and flies. Millipedes, centipedes and woodlice are also considered to be decomposers because they convert organic material into usable energy or nutrients; however, bacteria and fungi are considered the primary decomposers because they digest and decompose organic material more completely than other types of decomposers. For instance, vultures may leave things like bones, fur and feathers behind.

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