Rainforest vs Grassland
Both rainforest and grassland are highly fascinating places of the Earth to observe, as most interesting things in the world take place out there. These are amongst the most important types of ecosystems in the world, as the contribution to maintain the biodiversity from these two is immense. There are many contrasting differences between a rainforest and grassland and the most important and interesting ones are discussed in this article. The species richness or the biodiversity, biological pathway of energy flow, and many other aspects are important to consider in an attempt to compare and contrast rainforests with grasslands.
Rainforests are a type of forest or vegetation with large trees where there is a minimum rainfall of 1750 – 2000 millimetres annually. There are two main types of rainforests (known as temperate and tropical) according to the climate that the forest experiences. Tropical rainforests receive much more than this amount of rainfall in one year though. When all the biotic species are considered, between 40% and 70% of all of that could be found inside rainforests of the world. Tropical rainforests particularly account for the highest magnitude of the biodiversity. Rainforests are homes of many millions of plant species, invertebrates, and other microorganisms. In fact, the actual biodiversity could still be not discovered for a tropical rainforest. Plants in the forests are accountable for the production of 28% of the world’s oxygen (O2) level, as the photosynthesis produces oxygen. Since a rainforest receives a high amount of rain, it is a warm and wet environment. However, the interior is much cool, and it provides a wonderful environment for animals and plants to thrive without problems. The vegetation of a rainforest consists of four main storeys or layers according to the height of trees from the ground; those layers are emergent, canopy, understorey, and forest floor. The forest floor barely gets any direct sunlight, as all those layered trees have developed their leaves and branches to maximise the photosynthetic efficiency by using the every bit of sunlight. One main feature of the rainforests is that those are green in colour. The forest floor is always filled with dead leaves, which are being decayed by millions of decomposers in the soil and absorbed by the roots of plants. Rainforests are highly stable ecosystems, unless a large-scale destruction is caused by the mankind.
Grassland is a type of vegetation with mainly grasses, and it is a home of many animal species. Usually, there are no woody plants except for very few trees scattered on the field. Grasslands have perennial grass species, which often occur in bunches. The received annual rainfall of grassland could be as low as 250 millimetres, but the amount varies up to 900 millimetres. Grasslands are found in most of the Eco regions of the world, and the type of grassland varies according to that; temperate grassland, savannah, and shrub land are some of those. This type of ecosystems could be formed in different altitude and temperatures. Since grasses being the dominant vegetation type in grasslands, the height of the vegetation does not reach very high levels, but it could be 2 metres maximum. Therefore, the wind has no major barrier while blowing through grasslands and the level of humidity is much low compared to many ecosystems in the world. Grasslands provide food for many of the grazing herbivores, and thereby for the carnivores. Usually, large mammals with large bodies prefer grasslands, as they have enough food to live and space to move.
What is the difference between Rainforest and Grassland?
• Rainforests receive a much higher rainfall than grasslands get.
• Rainforests provide homes for much more species than grasslands would offer.
• Main vegetation of rainforests is woody plants while grasslands have herbaceous (non-woody) plants.
• There are only two types of rainforests, whereas grasslands are of five main types depending on the climatic conditions.
• Rainforests have high density of plants with different heights, whereas grasslands barely have trees and all the bushes are usually short.
• The humidity is higher inside rainforests than in grasslands.
• Rainforests are stable ecosystems while grasslands and not stable.