Savanna Plant Adaptation


Although definitions vary somewhat, savannas typically refer to landscapes dominated by grasses and widely spaced trees. This can mean the iconic tropical savannas of eastern and southern Africa, or temperate-zone open woodlands of pine or oak. Wherever their location, savanna plants exhibit unique adaptations.


  • Many of the world's savannas exist partly or wholly because of fire, whether sparked by lightning or intentionally set by human beings. In the Intermountain West of North America, ponderosa pine forms savannas and open woodlands between steppe and higher conifer forests, partially maintained by wildfire. The old, thick-barked pines withstands many blazes, while seedlings readily colonize fresh-burnt territory.

Grazing Pressure

Moisture Stress

  • Plants in both tropical and temperate savannas often contend with moisture limitations. Many tropical savannas experience annual dry seasons where rainfall is scant or nonexistent. In Africa, the baobab, a common tree of savannas and open woodlands, only leafs out during the rainy season. Many grasses reserve energy underground during the dry season, only greening when the rains come.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images Fire 11 image by Valeriy Kirsanov from kenya image by TEMISTOCLE LUCARELLI from Baobab before the sunset image by Elzbieta Sekowska from
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • Plants of the African Savannah

    Savannahs, a unique grassland biome, cover almost half of Africa. Typically, the plants of this area fall into two categories: resilient, heat-resistant...

  • Plant Adaptations in the Tropical Savannah

    Tropical savannas present plants with dry soil, periodic fires and threats from herbivores. Plants that commonly grow in tropical savannas have made...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make a Vertical Clay Pot Garden

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!