Abstract for S18


Temperate & Boreal Grassland & Shrubland
Prairies et arbustaies tempérées et boréales


Temperate & Boreal Grassland & Shrubland occurs in areas of moderately dry to wet, continental, coastal and Mediterranean climates, and is most abundant in North America, Eurasia (the steppes), South America, and parts of Southern Africa and Australia. The vegetation varies from grasslands of open to dense bunch or sod grasses, often with scattered shrubs or trees, to low (<2 m) open to dense shrublands and sclerophyllous or soft chaparral scrub, and trees absent to scattered (<10% cover). Xeromorphic growth forms are largely absent; the surface layer has a thin to thick litter and duff layer, posed in contrast to desert grassland and scrub, where the surface layer may be bare, or contain a biological crust. Structure is a single, major grass or shrub stratum, or a mix of the two, typically exceeding 10-20% cover. There are a number of drivers that can preclude establishment of forest vegetation in these climates; including climatic characteristics, water regime (droughty habitats), and fire and flooding disturbances.

Source: Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, C. Josse, A. Weakley, D. Tart, G. Navarro, B. Hoagland, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, G. Fults, E. Helmer. 2014. Classification and description of world formation types. Part I (Introduction) and Part II (Description of world formations). Hierarchy Revisions Working Group, Federal Geographic Data Committee, FGDC Secretariat, U.S. Geological Survey. Reston, VA, and NatureServe, Arlington, VA.

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